press release

“The thoughtful perambulating loner desires a special kind of uplift from this communion with all and sundry. He who can readily identify with the crowd enjoys ecstatic delights which are forever denied to the egoist who is locked inside himself as in a coffer or to the lazy minded fellow trapped in his own shell like an oyster. He can make every profession his own, and make his all those joys and miseries that circumstance may bring his way.” From Charles Baudelaire, ‘Crowds’ in Francis Scarfe (ed.), The Poems in Prose (London: Anvil Press Poetry, 2004), p 59

In his new body of paintings David Korty’s landscapes have become markedly more populated. In earlier works the paintings evoked the atmosphere of the urban landscape through architecture, space and intimations of climate. The focus has now shifted towards streets bustling with pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers, thronging public squares, visitors on the steps and at the information desk of a museum. Instead of the impression of a detached observer, Korty enters the fray and conjures up the excitement of the crowded metropolis and the hurly burly of city life.

Korty conveys a sensory encounter with our surroundings. As he explores the effect of light and colour on glass, water and texture, the drama is in this interplay rather than in the scene depicted. In these new paintings he has introduced stronger geometric elements and a more distilled palette, combining oil and wax pencil to a denser, more forceful effect. The overall impression is bolder, the aesthetic more stylized, as Korty taps out his own pictorial Morse code.

David Korty lives and works in Los Angeles and this is his third solo exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ. A catalogue of Korty’s work will be published later this year.


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David Korty