Re-Inventions of Life in Its Various Forms
Carl Hammer Gallery is once again honored to present the painting mastery of artist David Sharpe to the Chicago art community and to the visiting public from Art Chicago 2010. The imagination of Sharpe’s palette of landscapes and figurative forms knows no boundary lines. His intuitive senses are uncanny, as if he were working purely from an instinctive, compulsive-obsessive tradition. Yet Sharpe remains in control throughout utilizing a display of dynamic interaction with ideas and subjects, all drawn from daily experiences while also addressing the traditions of painting both academic and outsider.
One painting surely stands as a superb example of the artist capitalizing upon his day to day experiences in his new body of work. The Bridge is a wonderfully expansive recollection from his daily traverse of the Manhattan Bridge across New York’s East River via the Q train, from home to studio and back again. The painting captures the dynamic aspects of a spectacle unique to this view of lower Manhattan. As the artist takes in the panoply of the majestic Brooklyn Bridge, the activity of the great New York Harbor, and the human rituals engaged in both, his gaze, painted with a kind of cosmic fascination, leads us, the viewer, into a wonderment of the combined visual relationships involved in such daily drama.
In this current body of work, David Sharpe succeeds at doing what he does so very frequently - breaking new ground. Working in a series of 18 x 24 inch paintings, the artist discovered that the smaller format lent itself to experimentation and, hence, greater innovation. While there, he succeeded in creating a new and different dialogue with natural phenomena derived from the real world and not from TV, radio or digitally made up places. In doing so, Sharpe has successfully fine tuned his way of looking at the real world, painting it in a new and personal way. As in looking at a sunsets or creating a study of a still life scene, Sharpe’s experimentation with them does not end up cliché-like. But nothing is ever cliché about David Sharpe’s work. His unending inventiveness and the void of stylistic sentimentality result in a vision full of incisive humor, yet permitting us to better “see” the human experience in a marvelously unique way.