In today’s Work on Monday, we look at a large and beguiling painting on paper by Bellport artist David Adams. “No. 52” is part of Adams’ series of works created with his unique and effective process of mixing paint into a perfectly flowing viscosity, hanging a can of it on string above his chosen medium—be it canvas, paper, board or found object—and then puncturing the can before letting it fly. The result is quite spectacular.
Acrylic on paper
36 x 170 inches, 2014
Using his signature technique, Adams creates work that completely removes the artist’s hand from much of the process, aside from, of course, his manipulation of the whirling paint can as it leaves near perfect marks on the canvas, or in this case paper, lying flat below it. These paintings display vortexes, spirals and crisscrossed forms with near computerlike precision, yet the work also has a rawness and authenticity that mirrors those Abstract Expressionist forebears, so legendary and well loved, especially in our part of the world.
When viewing a piece like “No. 52,” one can feel the artist’s hand—even when it wasn’t actually there—and visualize a messy, paint-spattered studio, rather than the drafting table, rulers and large-scale printers normally required by someone creating such technically clean lines. Small marks cast out from the center of “No. 52″‘s shapes, and into the periphery, offer further evidence of a painterly process—no matter how Adams accomplishes it.
This artist is using natural motion and gravity to build forms, much like whatever it is that created our world from the messy, primordial stew. His shapes call to mind conch and snail shells, black holes, tornadoes, hurricanes, waves and great oceanic gyres. It’s a magical formula and one well worth a look.
Check out more of David Adams’ work at Gallery 125 in Water Mill, gallery125.org.
Work on Monday is a weekly look at one piece of art related to the East End, usually by a Hamptons or North Fork artist, living or dead, created in any kind of media. Join the conversation by posting your thoughts in the comments below and email suggestions for a future Work on Monday here.