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Dan Walsh
Red Diptych II


acrylic on canvas

Overall dimensions: 182.9 x 370.8 cm
Dan Walsh’s large scale paintings exude a quirky brand of minimalism. In Red Diptych II Walsh presents two canvases of grid patterns contrived of the same palette: the left panel comprised of solid blocks, the right of concentric tiles. Using the multiplicity of this geometric form, Walsh’s paintings construct a phantasmal architecture: their componentised repetition suggests infinite expansion, each square mesmerising with the hypnotising glow of electric transmission. Creating optical illusions of gravity and weightlessness, Walsh’s paired canvases alternate in their perspectival deception as their flat surfaces appear to advance and recede simultaneously.
Dan Walsh


acrylic on canvas

177.8 x 177.8 cm
Dan Walsh’s work resounds with an understated authority. Painted with a pristine delicacy, Walsh’s Arrangement uses the solidity of the chequered composition to create an abstracted sense of space. Divided by a liminal grid of translucent dark lines, his squares are bordered with concentrated bands of intense warm colour, weighted at their bases with striations of steely blue. Rendered by hand, Walsh’s geometric composition waivers with faint imperfection: Seemingly straight edges subtly bow and warp with undulating movement, creating a tessellated field of reverberant disorientation.
Dan Walsh


acrylic on canvas

139.7 x 228.6 cm
Rendered in brown, black, and white, the patterning in Walsh’s Auditorium is reminiscent of ancient Grecian pottery in its colouration and geometric motifs, and the bands around the edges give the effect of an architectural floor plan with the linear borders and rounded rectangles suggesting stairs and columns or chambers. Walsh uses the authority of these classical references to engage with ideas of visual purity. Painted entirely freehand, without the use of a ruler or masking tape, the graphic perfection of his composition is conceived as subjective perception, as the asymmetrical layout defies spatial logic and the subtle idiosyncrasies of Walsh’s brush marks infuse design archetype with the friability of human negotiation.


Dan Walsh by - Joan Waltemath

In Dan Walsh’s current exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery in Chelsea, large-scale canvases are hung mostly below eye level. In the 1980’s in Soho Alan Uglow made it a point to position his paintings below eye level, a move which not only added a sense of gravity to their bearing, but reflected the position of abstract painting at that time as being below the radar. Walsh is not the only painter to respond to Uglow’s influence.

Yet over a number of exhibitions from the mid eighties to the present he has carried the idea further by setting his paintings into a dialogue with the specific architectures in which they hang. Through a vocabulary of borders and bands painted directly on the walls he was able to both amplify and subdue the surrounding architectural elements. Now reduced to a consideration to leave an abundant space above his works, Walsh’s sensitivity to his surroundings neutralizes the spectacular ceiling, with it’s I beams and unfinished wood.

What’s refreshing about the current exhibition are the stretches and unexpected curves as his parameters broaden and he comes to terms with both his acquired facility and a changing climate. Walsh is still struggling to make a painting; in this body of work as he resolves familiar problems in unfamiliar ways that consequently open up new areas for investigation. Lots of bright colors are set in subtle and complex relationships to one another to create light in the fields underneath them. It’s an effect that gives rise to the feeling that the point of entry in Walsh’s painting is from the inside out, to be found by following the light coming from the luminous field below through to the hand drawn structure on the paintings surface.

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Source: brooklynrail.org

Dan Walsh at Paula Cooper by Roger Boyce

The main gallery of Paula Cooper's ground-floor Chelsea space resembles a grand museum chamber. This impression was abetted by Dan Walsh's low-slung, monumentally horizontal paintings. Averaging 60 by 90 inches and hung 6 inches from the floor, Walsh's eight recent canvases created a discontinuous polychrome wainscot which briefly recalled the proportional organization of Pompeiian First Style wall painting.

As the viewer approached the paintings, this reading dissipated. In its place shades of geometric minimalists, such as Josef Albers, were summoned. However, Walsh's thin tints, dry primaries, inconstant line and shape take the starch out of formal/minimalist associations. While the grid underlies much of his work, and linear geometry is (irregularly) employed to break up and surround space, there is a notable absence of essentialist asceticism in his approach to arithmetical abstraction. As in the case of Mary Heilmann, who uses purposefully careless geometry, Walsh wants to make serious painting--and have fun.

These new paintings fall into two broad compositional categories. In Classique and True Blues, the painter delineates recumbent rectangular shapes and sets them against darker grounds.

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Source: findarticles.com