“Still Life” consists of nine paintings of the same image, a Polaroid photograph of three flowers in a vase. The representational imagery is a departure from the abstract color-field work he has exhibited through his twenty year career. Landscape and still life are the nexus in which Brice explores the complexity and resonance of color - like many California artists inspired by the sun-drenched colors of the west coast: Diebenkorn, Hockney, and Irwin to name a few.
In both genres, Brice’s minimalist, color paintings offer formalist and meditative qualities simultaneously. Brice’s Polaroid, taken over 25 years ago, has been a reference point for several periods of work. The image serves as an armature for different color and surface combinations. Preserving the image in this body of work reveals his adherence to the exercise of seeing. The repetition acknowledges the endless variations of a given subjet and the challenge of conveying that.
The simplification of elements and the reduction of color reflect a deep examination of the image – a process he describes as “spiritual” at its best. The use of monochrome colors and black are reminiscent of a photographic negative. The elimination of color reveals more dimension, a near-3D quality, and a sense that more of the subject is visible. Since the camera was invented over 170 years ago, historians periodically claim the “death of painting,” yet Brice’s Polaroid paintings are a perfect example of why that is hardly the case.
Daniel Brice has exhibited throughout the United States including at The Riverside Museum of Art and the University of New Mexico Art Museum. He is a four-time “Artist in Residence” honoree at the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico. His work is in the collections of Allentown Museum, Ohio Wesleyan University, Smith College and elsewhere. He studied at California State University in Long Beach, CA and lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.