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Indepth Arts News:

"present tense 24: David Urban"
2002-12-11 until 2002-03-30
Art Gallery of Ontario
Toronto, ON, CA

Present Tense 24: David Urban presents a new body of work by the Toronto-based painter. In a departure from the large oil abstractions for which he is known, Urban has created a series of eight small, rapid canvases, collectively entitled Conventions of Abstract Thought, which examine painting’s representational traditions.

In Conventions of Abstract Thought, Urban introduces a repertoire of archetypal forms - flowers, mountains, skulls - that evoke the genres of still life and landscape. He explores how we instinctively connect familiar objects to other similar shapes and forms. A brisk, horizontal stroke can indicate the edge of a table, the back of a room, or a receding plain. Clusters of cubes, cones and cylinders simultaneously suggest crystals, rocks, mountains and temples. Urban’s works underline our need to locate and recognize basic, common elements, even in pure painting.

David Urban was born in Toronto in 1966. He has exhibited widely since 1992, including solo exhibitions at Trepanier Baer Gallery, Calgary, Galerie René Blouin, Montreal, and Sable-Castelli Gallery, Toronto. This will be the first time that the Conventions of Abstract Thought series is shown in its entirety, along with a selection of new paintings that Urban has made since that time.

The Present Tense series at the AGO features intimate focused exhibitions of new work by Canadian and international contemporary artists. As a continuous series of projects, Present Tense attempts to share with the viewer the range and complexity of artistic production today.

The Present Tense series is sponsored by The Contemporary Circle, which was formed in the fall of 1996 to support new art initiatives at the AGO.


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