David Craven

The Sable-Castelli Gallery

In his recent works David Craven attempts to reconcile his ongoing interest in issues of language, authority, and the demarcation of territory with his roots in formalist abstraction. Contrary to those artists who are now investing abstraction with subjective, expressive qualities, Craven is applying the mechanics of formalism to the sculptural and narrative conditions already extant in his works. The echoes of lyrical abstraction that typified his painting of the mid ’70s are still present, but now his objective is larger.

Craven’s paintings function as a conceptual unit, with the canvases held away from the wall by elegantly shaped wooden armatures. Their surfaces lathered with wood stain over acrylic suggest an organic casing in which the form floats. In fact, the slick quality of Craven’s objects teeters on the brink of overkill, and the paintings are only saved by the use of their

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