David Richard Gallery is pleased to present Color Wave, Paintings from 1973 to 1977, an exhibition of a seminal series of works by New York artist Elliott Lloyd in his first solo exhibition with the gallery. This series documents a major transition in the artist’s approach to his painting practice in the early 1970s; moving away from shaped compositions with rigorously planned color palettes and meticulously executed stained canvases to a freer, spontaneous approach that was loose, followed impulses and organically constructed large-scale compositions with layers of translucent and opaque color.
The paintings in this exhibition represent a major turning point for Lloyd. His approach during the 1960s was to control and meticulously plan the color and composition of his paintings, pouring dilute pigment onto unprimed canvas with an approach similar to watercolor painting. Realizing that shaped canvases necessarily had an interaction with the wall, and thus his compositions, Lloyd wanted the canvas to be neutral and his approach more automatic, dynamic and fluid. The paintings in Color Wave were painted off the stretcher, which gave the artist more freedom to follow impulses and gestures to their natural conclusion, not constrained by a predetermined shape or size of canvas. When the paintings were finished, Lloyd decided the final composition using tape to mark the outer perimeter, which determined the ultimate dimensions of the completed work. Most of the paintings in this series have never been stretched or presented before, and this is the first exhibition of this series as a cohesive group.
Lloyd’s application of the pigment in these paintings from 1973 to 1977 was very different from his earlier works, it was more saturated, thicker and bolder. He physically moved and brushed the paint, the colors were crashing into one another and puddling, mixing and overlapping on the canvas with dynamic strokes and color harmonies. This series led to the artist’s very successful transition to other experimental series of works that explored color, diverse media and supports made of wide-ranging materials—from canvas and paper to clay, glass, Plexiglas and mixed media collages—with compositions derived from organic combinations of pigment and free-flowing gestures.