April 4 – May 4, 2013
David Nolan Gallery is excited to present an exhibition of new works by Dylan Bailey. On view from April 4 to May 4, this will be the artist’s first solo show with the gallery.
A significant area of Bailey’s expanding practice is his ongoing series of number paintings. These works (which first appeared in a solo show at the National Exemplar gallery) serve as a record of what the artist describes as “a throw of metal and plastic numbers.” The resulting images have an ethereal quality, suggesting the appearance of a cosmic space in which numbers appear to float and hang. The artist develops these compositions with paper laid flat on the ground, applying enamel paint from a spray can over a scattered arrangement of physical numbers, which include repurposed address numbers and children’s refrigerator magnets. When the numbers are removed, a silhouette remains as an imprint on the sheet. In this regard, the paintings recall early experiments with camera-less photography, such as Man Ray’s “rayographs”, in which objects arranged on photosensitized paper are exposed to light.
There is an intuitive nature to Bailey’s practice, wherein one idea gives way to the next, which is testified in his newest body of work – which began as a byproduct of his number paintings – where discarded plastic caps from empty spray paint cans find a new home. Occupying the main gallery of the present exhibition, these colorful pieces of plastic are set into specifically constructed plywood panels of naturally correlated birch, where the horizontally oriented wood-grain (sourced from two trees) repeats throughout. The works are characterized by a studied arrangement of the caps, and with each piece, a new layout develops – some panels privileging a sparse arrangement, while others are more clustered or weighted in a certain direction. Seen as a group, these constellations achieve a sense of evolving possibility.
Dylan Bailey was born in Londonderry, Vermont in 1985 and studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design, before settling in New York City in 2008.