JACKSON, Wyo. — This month, Altamira Fine Art will feature landscape painter David Grossmann‘s show, Passages. His contemplative work offers a uniquely modern approach, making him a perfect fit among Altamira’s Western Contemporary artists.
A Colorado native who has lived in Chile and traveled the world, David Grossman calls his paintings “visual poems.” Using a gentle, glowing palette, he paints abstracted visions of forests that are melodic in their focus on rhythm and symmetry. Sprawling swaths of landscape transform into flat, smooth planes while scattered trees lend a profound sense of depth.
In advance of his June show, Passages, Grossmann traced the primary characteristics of his current paintings and practice.
This show gathers paintings from the past two-plus years. As I look at these paintings together, I relive moments on that journey and am reminded of how the changes in the world around me have shaped me and my work along the way. The idea of passages became central, of moving from one thing to the next but also knowing there is not a clear edge between those transitions (in life or in my work).
Seeing paintings I started two or more years ago along with pieces I started more recently helps me piece together how different ideas have intertwined and gone in various directions.
A couple of pieces in this show are purely abstract, while others are much more grounded in reality. Most are somewhere in between, combining elements of both (and really, isn’t all art abstract?). There is also a large range of sizes from 8-by-10-inches all the way up to 70-by-60.
Ultimately, this show gives a glimpse into how I think through my process as an artist. My ideas often begin with small studies completed outdoors, several of which will appear at Altamira. Back in my studio, I gather ideas from these studies and combine/build on them to find themes for my larger paintings. Simultaneously, I delve into my memories and imagination. My ongoing interest in design and abstraction, in mood and simplicity, feel as though they are emerging more clearly this time around. I embrace the idea of “slow art,” of letting each painting develop at its own rate and form its own voice, even if it takes two years for that to happen.
More than ever, I am making space for contemplation in my work—an overarching theme for me right now as I strive to be more contemplative, to examine deeper motivations in my work and life. So much of my thinking about this show and about my work has been shaped by the pandemic; as I gradually emerge from my quarantine mindset, I’m trying to re-enter life at a slower pace instead of defaulting to the same views and hectic schedule of before. This time has allowed me to deaccelerate in ways that could be really meaningful or could be wasted. As I resume parts of my life that have been on hold, I’m trying to hang on to a quieter mindset and a renewed focus on recognizing and protecting what is beautiful and fragile around me, whether in nature or culture. Hopefully, these paintings will offer an opportunity for viewers to enter that space of contemplation as well.
Grossmann’s show of new work runs from June 8 through 19 at Altamira Fine Art. An artist reception will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on June 10, and the exhibit will also be celebrated during the following week’s ArtWalk from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on June 17. For more information about his paintings and practice, please contact Altamira Fine Art by email at email@example.com or by phone at (307) 739-4700.