LA born – NY based artist David Matthew King skilfully explores poetic rhythm and elision with focus and constraint. King limits his palette to elementary colours with the omission of pure black and white. His constellations of solid coloured, humble components suggest the reduction of art to its most basic material elements. King’s pure forms evolve from a process of mark making: scraping and scrubbing paint into raw canvas in repeated strokes until they billow or leap from the natural ground. King honours the space between each stroke and the unprimed canvas – that left in the raw material state becomes absolutely necessary in the same way silence is fundamental to music, conversation, thought or reflection.
Through this technical approach, the works are strikingly articulate in their line, and allusions. Made in the belief that each colour’s sole responsibility is to heighten the visual impact of the others, the works are rooted in the same principles: the tension that builds up and releases. The tension comes from the placement or movement of forms in a composition. The structures of rhythm are assembled and then interrupted by a shape positioned nearby. Spatial tensions rise through shifts in chromatic temperature – a push and pull of colours that approach and recede depending on their relative tones.
Both economical and deeply sensual, King’s works contain a timeless language. Through the deceptively simple means of painting – colour, surface, and form – the artist physically challenges emotional and linguistic boundaries and definitions, that remain accessible on both personal and universal levels.
‘Maybe my paintings are just about being human in a time when being human too often seems taboo.’ – David Matthew King.