The new body of work by Canadian abstract artist David Urban presents large oil abstractions and their relationship to painting’s representational traditions. The creative layering of paint becomes a particular feature in Urban’s artistic process; carefully controlled elements are juxtaposed with energetic, passionate strokes. Urban is involved in the act of painting.
This body of work is about a place called Wyevale. Wyevale is a real place and for Urban, an existential place. David Urban has been driving through the town of Wyevale on the way to his cottage for decades. He went there as a young boy and now he and his wife experience taking their own son there. The work is about our place in the woods. It is about going to the same place summer after summer after summer and experiencing that the place never changes, but we change. The tension in these works is created by the space between happiness and sadness; the real and the existential; adulthood and youth. One gets the feeling that Urban is trying to preserve the innocence of childhood in these Wyevale works.
Urban’s works explore the interplay between representation and abstraction, while maintaining a strong sense of connectivity and rhythmical structure. Dr. David Moos, Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, writes that Urban’s “interlocking networks take the viewer on imaginary trips through painted space, fictive depth and chromatic horizons.” The stability of the emerging figurative forms preserve the tension and monumentality found within the works.