San Francisco

David Simpson

Modernism Inc.

Despite the widespread identification of Bay Area painting with expressive figuration, many artists work in Constructivist-, Suprematist-, and de Stijl-inspired modes. Of the painters, David Simpson is among the strongest. His investigations of precise balances between the visual weights of a few razor-edged rectangles judiciously deployed around large square fields of uniform color began in the early ’70s after a decade of more painterly compositions of horizontal or arced stripes and stains. Here, he showed work in one of his three ongoing formats, that of thin rectangles or bars usually perpendicular to the edges of the paintings and projecting in various lengths toward the centers. (Other compositional types include bars conterminous with the perimeter and large discrete squares.)

A fundamental basis for all of these formats is a balance between spare arrangements of rectangles and

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