reviews

David Hullfish Bailey

If American painters continue to doggedly mine the border between abstraction and representation, it is because they remain, in general, conflicted on the issue. Neither a painter nor really a sculptor, David Hullfish Bailey has found it more productive to speculate on the nature of the opposition itself rather than seek any kind of synthesis. Architecture, urban planning, and product design appear in his work as real-world sites of this ongoing aesthetic conflict, providing concrete instances of a figurative occupation of abstract space and vice versa.

The reductivist argument for abstraction is easily reconciled with humble wood-shop practicality, yet the widespread suspicion persists that lurking inside every streamlined form are obscurantist, elitist claims. In this exhibition, Bailey demonstrates how the cultural ambivalence of the American public might be mobilized toward specific

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