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DAVID SIMPSON: IMPROMPTU

May 7 - may 28, 2019

Opening Reception Friday, May 10, 5 -7 PM

Pale pink stippled by an undertone of deep purple. A deep midnight blue that shimmers and pales into the color of coming dawn. The russet of fall leaves, edged in gold. The colors of the new selection of paintings by David Simpson featured in Impromptu shift like moods. Depths of wine and opal and ice blue emerge and fade. These paintings become not just windows or doors - but rooms, spaces, shifting worlds. But while the colors entrance and bind the viewer with their spell - it is light, more than color, that David Simpson celebrates and explores in his mono-pigment interference paintings.

Light is a wave. Light is a particle. Light is a paradox. From the flame of a candle to the brilliance of the sun, light illumines our world and makes our universe knowable from across staggering distances. Light, to a physicist, is more than just the spectrum that we see - but the whole gamut of electromagnetic radiation from gamma rays to sound beyond what the human ear can hear - the music of the universe. Light is the spark responsible for all life on earth - from the synthesis of the molecules necessary for life, to the catalyst for energy conversion in photosynthesis. But long before light became the subject of physicists, it has fascinated humans with its power to illuminate - and perhaps none so much as artists.

Simpson traces his own fascination with light through the history of Western art from the Romanesque and Gothic eras, when light was shown to come from within its subjects. He notes that in Gothic cathedrals, a sculpture is set into a dark niche where it will seem to glow, "like a filament silhouetted by the dark." It is no accident that during the Renaissance and the Baroque, when the human sciences began to explore light, artists began to favor chiaroscuro. The Impressionists took this exploration of light a step further, often making it a true focus of their work. Simpson has noted that in Monet's famed series of paintings of the Rouen Cathedral it is more the light itself that is the subject matter of the paintings, rather than the facade. And finally, in the 20th century, artists like Rothko and Flavin foregrounded light and color, to the exclusion of other subject matter.

Simpson's interference paintings, which use a special paint containing microscopic particles coated with mica, are a truly unique exploration of light. Simpson has spent years mastering the pigments to achieve something no other painter has done with these colors. The mica particles, creating a matrix within the paint, trap and reflect light within the painting so that these works shift, often dramatically, across a spectrum of colors. From a pale pink to a deep blue, from warm copper to spring green, from deep rust to purple-toned gold. The changes occur based on the angle of the viewer and the angle of the light - but even more remarkably - due to the kind and quality of light.

Simpson's interference paintings, which use a special paint containing microscopic particles coated with mica, are a truly unique exploration of light. Simpson has spent years mastering the pigments to achieve something no other painter has done with these colors. The mica particles, creating a matrix within the paint, trap and reflect light within the painting so that these works shift, often dramatically, across a spectrum of colors. From a pale pink to a deep blue, from warm copper to spring green, from deep rust to purple-toned gold. The changes occur based on the angle of the viewer and the angle of the light - but even more remarkably - due to the kind and quality of light.

Spend time with a painting by David Simpson and you begin to see the dynamism of its response to light. Sunlight, storm light, winter or summer, low light, sunset - these changes affect Simpson's work, eliciting nuance and shades that can't be appreciated with only a cursory look. Most remarkable of all, in certain lights, Simpson's paintings, like the pages of an ancient illuminated manuscript, appear to glow, alive with a light all their own.





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Rouge, 2018
Acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
16 x 16 x 2 in.
DS389

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Tulip Two, 2018
Acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
16 x 16 x 2 in.
DS390

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Burgundy Shift, 2018
Acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
16 x 16 x 2 in.
DS386

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Blue Fusion, 2018
Acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
16 x 16 x 2 in.
DS382

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Cloudy Blue, 2017
acrylic on canvas over panel (interference pigment)
16 x 16 in.
DS359

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Sunday, 2010
Acrylic on canvas (interference pigment)
34 x 34 in.
DS0092

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Daze, 2017
acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
34 x 34 x 2 in.
DS401

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Oranje, 2016
Acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
34 x 34 in.
DS283

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Sky in the Pie, 2010
Acrylic on canvas (interference pigment)
60 x 60 in.
DS0089

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Morning Glory Too, 2018
acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
34 x 34 x 2 in.
DS397

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Burnt Offering, 2018
acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
34 x 34 x 2 in.
DS399

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Slo Burn, 2017
acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
34 x 34 x 2 in.
DS394

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April Day, 2018
acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
34 x 34 x 2 in.
DS393

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Copper Thought, 2018
acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
34 x 34 x 2 in.
DS402

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A Day in Santa Fe, 2018
Acrylic on canvas on board (interferencepigment)
16 x 16 x 2 in.
DS388

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Sunny Daze, 2017
Acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
16 x 16 x 2 in.
DS379

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The Thought A Penny Bought, 2018
Acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
16 x 16 x 2 in.
DS387

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Sunny, 2017
acrylic on canvas over panel (interference pigment)
16 x 16 in.
DS360

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Winter Gold, 2017
Acrylic on canvas on board (interference pigment)
16 x 16 x 2 in.
DS383

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Rose Bush (For Jay), 2019
acrylic on board
11 x 7.875 x 1.75 in.
DS434

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Rose Bouquet, 2019
acrylic on board
11 x 8 x 1.75 in.
DS436

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Blue Dahlia, 2019
acrylic on board
10.875 x 8 x 1.75 in.
DS437

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Hemlock, 2019
acrylic on board
9.5 x 6 x 1.75 in.
DS438

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Dandylion, 2018
acrylic on board
12 x 9 x 1.75 in.
DS435

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Vanitas Thistles, 2018
acrylic on panel
11 7/8 x 9 x 1 3/4 in.
DS413

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Vanitas (Tulips), 2018
acrylic on panel
11 7/8 x 8 7/8 x 1 3/4 in.
DS408

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Bella Donna, 2018
acrylic on panel
11 3/4 x 8 3/4 x 1 3/4 in.
DS411

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554 S. Guadalupe St.   Santa Fe, NM   87501  T. 505-989-8688  F. 989-9898

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