los-angeles

David Schirm

La Tortue Gallery

Clouds of colored baubles drift through the constructed paintings of David Schirm, tumbling through a dark field, moving as natural creatures do. His cut-and-pasted particles of wood, canvas, and plastic are loosely tethered to the surface by thin wires serving double duty as linear marks supporting his graphic imagery. In effect, Schirm is drawing with small, carefully integrated objects, relying upon their scale to set up at least two levels of pictorial activity. Thus a red painted spot, a shiny red plastic bead, and a scrap of red fabric appear to occupy flattened spaces, then leap from the surface, surprising us, at closer range.

The cheerful demeanor of this work might easily mask its mature fusion of the freely biomorphic and the beautifully man-made. Schirm calls his abstracted creatures “hybrids,” a term also used by Jean Arp; as such, they are lively vehicles which help one to

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