When walking into John Daily’s imposing new exhibition at Galleri Duerr, one might think they have accidently stumbled into a group exhibition. Intricate colorfields with minimalistic overtones, created through hidden logic and obsessive precision, are juxtaposed with foreboding surrealistic dreamscapes. This exhibition spans over ten years of artistic production, and the approaches and aesthetics metamorphose considerably. Nevertheless, certain elements unite this collection, such as luminescent atmospheres, meticulous detail, a frequent manipulation of dichotomies, and the sophisticated use of color.
In the earliest series represented, Complexity, Daily has worked with an abstract systems approach based on interdependancy. Multiple layers of pattern are united through intricate and often submerged interactions under a minimalistic veneer. Conventional artistic approaches are turned on their head, and chaos emerges from order, a tribute to the modern realizations of the science of complexity.
While visually resembles its predecessor, the methodology behind the Shifted/Blended series is entirely different. Daily has pushed literal abstraction to its furthest limits, where by using a shifting perspective, complicated but specific drawings of an object (a microscope) have distorted it beyond recognition. The various elements of the object are then translated into separate colors, which are blended in correspondance with the overlapping of the drawing, resulting in rich colorfield paintings which disguise their reality-based origins.
The delicately executed Life-Science drawings suggest medical and biological drawings from the pre-photographic era. Though only inventions, they inspire reflection nonetheless.
What Is the Difference Between Your First Breath and Your Last Breath (from the What Is Not Life series) presents a bridge between Daily’s organic drawings and the lineality of many of his paintings. This work was created using a novel technique in which plywood is charred using flame or a soldering iron. Gold leaf and red acrylic are applied for the final product.
The Traces series combines the linear approach from the What Is Not Life series with the rich painterly aesthetic of the Shifted/Blended series. Graceful lines flow about over heavily textured surfaces, engaging the viewer in a perpetual visual dance.
In the Scapes series, Daily is now working almost entirely intuitively. Ideas have fallen away, and emotions have taken over, allowing the viewer to drift within imaginary worlds recognizable only in dreams and fantasy. In these paintings, Daily is working loosely and uninhibitedly, in stark contrast with the earlier works in the exhibition.
In the Infinite Scale of Carnality series, fears and fascinations are intertwined with vague references to biological images. The vastness of the landscapes has given way to close-up, sometimes threatening images, surrealistic manifestations from environments unsuitable for human comfort.
In the first of two exhibitions, Galleri Duerr is proud to introduce a painter who is fascinated by the limitless possibilies of painting. John Daily’s exhibition will doubtless leave its audience inspired, enthusiastic, and curious for more. Daily graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1999, and has been in numerous exhibitions, including Liljevalchs vårsalong 2008, 2009, and 2010. In 2009 Daily was awarded the Örebro OpenART Award.
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