Take a stroll down CCV Montpelier’s first floor academic center gallery and be sure to check out artist David Southwick’s paintings on display. Southwick is based in Maine and is teaching for CCV for the first time this spring, offering an online Two-Dimensional Design course.
Southwick works with acrylic on canvas, burlap and sometimes wood. This particular show highlights his method of sampling and building fragments from many sources to create paintings that are textured and ever so slightly raised off of the canvas.
The pieces follow this theme, but each is unique in its expression of Southwick’s rearrangement and layering, often hinting at a lively background of diverse color and stroke behind the interrupted and angular opaque top layers.
“The impetus is discovering the beauty of a system that appears to make sense, but doesn’t quite add up,” says Southwick in his artist statement for the show.
Southwick is an art installation designer as well as an artist and teacher. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts in New York City he worked for an art advisory firm, developing public art programs around the state of New York. He then went on to earn an M.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and returned to New York City joining an art placement and installation firm.
“Think interior design, but focused solely on art,” says Southwick.
After seven years working and exhibiting his paintings in galleries throughout the city, he started his own installation firm in Maine.
His experience designing and installing art for collectors gave him a unique lens through which to create his own artwork.
In this role he was privy to what happens to art once it’s sold—how it looks in the context of someone’s house rather than on gallery walls—and that influenced his decision to limit his paintings to thirty inches and under.
“I never wanted my painting to be the only one in a room,” says Southwick. “Big paintings are lonely, small paintings get to have conversations with every other object there.”
The opening for the solo exhibition is on Friday, February 7 from 4-6 pm to coincide with Montpelier’s art walk. The show will be up through the spring semester.