Grey Spaces, 2013 - 2016





Monochrome Grey and Brown Painting

Light as value, in space, is a simpler tool than light as an abundance of color. It’s the kind of restraint that builds control with the materials and I had a preference for that kind of rigidity late in college.
There is an ethic and ideal to being neutral, or attempting to be so. It could be something de-contextual in nature, possibly dehumanizing, or like an anti-intellectual anaysis.

I had no name for the paintings individually so I called all of them grey paintings. As an abstraction, monochrome or nearly monochrome painting was supposed to focus on “taking people out of it.” The emphasis was not on whether figures or human and/or narrative imagery would appear in the painting but rather on how people identify with the artwork. Painting the psychological space of an architectural world seemed like my calling at the time. Grey was a rule that allowed for conceptual control within that abstraction. 



1

︎ (1) was made a year after undergraduate while living in Boston


︎ (2) and (3) are small paintings on paper made in Rome, Italy during my last year of undergraduate. It was the first time I felt I could use oil paint consistently for effect


2

3


︎ (4) "...What always is antithetical is my method, or the anticipation that, as it were, impels me to paint.” 

Why red and green? A question I couldn’t answer in my senior year critique for this large painting. An answer from 2020:
I mixed my black from red, green, and blue. My brown from red, green, and brown. My grey was very blue. The logic was clear that this green and red could mix well into all the other dull colors wet-on-wet until you couldn’t see them, an insurance policy for when the monochrome pallete was disturbed.
That was the sensibility I had at the time. However I threw away the plans and kept flat, solid color. Maybe antithetical. It’s like a halfway measure: provisional, somewhat abandoned.




4




(1)
Grey I
oil on canvas
54 x 70
2016

(2)
Untitled 1 and 2 (Rome)
oil on paper
approx. 5 x 7
2013
 
(3)
Study 1 (Rome)
oil on paper
8 x 12
2013

(4)
"...What always is antithetical is my method, or the anticipation that, as it were, impels me to paint.”

^
oil on canvas
8 x 11 feet
2014



exhibtions :

(2) & (3) Group Show at Circolo Degli Artisti, Rome Italy 2013
David Tompkins is a visual artist based in New York City working with architectural space and observation (b. 1992 Durham NC, RISD ‘14)




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