David Richard Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming presentation, Abiquiú Paintings by Shane Tolbert at the Gallery’s newest venue in Harlem. This is Tolbert’s debut exhibition with the Gallery and his first presentation in New York.
The spectacular and rugged landscape of Northern New Mexico, like for so many artists, informs the abstract paintings of Shane Tolbert. The big sky, bright clear days and miles of uninterrupted vistas create an inspiring environment that lends itself to a unique visual language. Tolbert, influenced by Color Field painting, brings color and a novel process approach to combining color with the extreme visuals and surface textures of his environment. Process and routine are a key part of Tolbert’s creative approach. Not only do mishaps and accidents in his rigorous process produce surprises, but create new avenues to pursue.
The old routine is broken and a new series of repetition and process begins anew. In the artist’s words, he “prefer the act of painting to be flexible, but the end result to be reflexive.” Thus, coming full circle in this new series, Abiquiu Paintings, his work captures his surroundings by design with the rich history of centuries of the landscape shifting and eroding, the seasonal cycle of rain, growth, decay and renewal overlaid with the daily cycle of the sun setting and moon rising and the footprints of centuries of culture and heritage. “In the studio beauty, erosion, inversion and prehistory inform” his image making. The artist’s unique process of painting with dilute acrylic paint on sheets of plastic that are dried, peeled and adhered to wet paint on a canvas support, provides both the pigment and element of chance and surprise in his paintings.
Shane Tolbert was born in Corsicana, TX in 1985 and currently lives and works in Abiquiu, NM. He received a BFA in Painting from University of Houston in 2008 and his MFA in Painting from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010. Shane Tolbert has exhibited nationally and internationally and has participated in the Edward Albee Foundation Residency in Montauk, NY. In addition, he has been featured in Art in America.