Opening reception: Friday, May 4, 5:00-7:00 PM
David Richard Contemporary is pleased to present, Against the Wall, a solo exhibition of paintings, works on paper and tapestries produced from 1970 to 2005 by Wall Batterton.
Against the Wall will focus on a common feature that runs throughout nearly all of Batterton’s artwork—the paint drip. Batterton’s early work from the 1960s, produced in the fast moving, dynamic and experimental art scene in LA had an “anything goes” approach in which he tried anything that seemed interesting and inspiring to him. Like all young artists of the time, abstract expressionism was ever-present and had a direct and indirect influence on his artwork. For Wall, the paint drip—most famously identified with Jackson Pollock and Sam Francis—found its way into nearly all of his paintings. The drip was a gestural element, but more important, it delivered a physical and literal element that also captured a moment of time during the painting process. It was real among all of the illusions of painting.
This exhibition emphasizes the drip for two reasons: first, following a ten year hiatus from painting—roughly from 1972 to 1982—after a sever illness resulting from toxicity to aluminum paint and auto lacquer used in his earlier work, Batterton returned to the drip in his new artwork. Second, the paint drip foreshadowed his later and frequent incorporation of actual objects into his painting and assemblage. Each of his paintings since re-engaging with fine art in 1982, whether on paper or canvas, has a spontaneous and gestural quality and often, a hint of figuration. The paint drip is also found in a series of tapestries that he produced in the late 1980s, combined with numerous other recurring motifs and literal objects that he felt were signifiers of contemporary culture, such as puzzle pieces, mirrors, zippers and condoms.
Batterton grew up in St. Louis, MO and later moved with his family to Los Angeles, CA. He studied art at Chouinard and was part of the “Students 5,” a small group that also included Ed Ruscha, Jerry McMillan, Don Moore and Pat Blackwell. He later shared living and studio space with Ruscha and McMillan, as well as Joe Goode. Those relationships and the learning environment at Chouinard greatly influenced his critical thinking about art and culture, then and even today, five decades later. Batterton moved to New Mexico in 1985 and now lives in Arizona.
David Richard Contemporary is located in downtown Santa Fe north of the historic plaza and specializes in post-war abstract art including Abstract Expressionism, Color Field, geometric, hard-edged, Op, Pop and Minimalism in a variety of media. Featuring both historic and contemporary artwork, the gallery represents many established mid to late-career artists who were part of important art historical movements and tendencies that occurred during the 1950s through the 1980s on both the east and west coasts. The gallery also represents artist estates, emerging artists and offers secondary market works.
For additional information please contact: David Eichholtz