new-york

David Reed

Max Protetch

In 1974, David Reed began investigating the brushstroke in a series of vertical paintings. Between 1974 and 1980, he worked on a number of two-paneled, horizontal paintings. In many of these, he would make a white stroke against a black ground in one panel, and repeat it in the next one. In other paintings from this period, he would juxtapose one panel (dark against light or vice versa) with another (a monochromatic plane). If Reed’s early paintings were not always successful, it was not because they were lacking in ambitiousness, but because their seams were too apparent.

Since 1980, Reed’s accomplishments have slowly started to mesh with his larger ambition, and his best paintings of the past few years suggest that he has broken new ground. Yet his work has often been seen through the filter of old proscriptions and values. To fuss over whether his work is an ironic representation of the

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