David Collins - "Clearstory"
at Valley House Gallery through September 24th
by Todd Camplin     

Rich in tradition, David Collins exhibition "Clearstory" fits perfectly in Valley House
Gallery. Like most artists shown at Valley House, David Collins strikes the perfect
balance of being rooted in the past, while making important innovations and
measured experiments without having to go far afield. Valley House Gallery
represents established and emerging contemporary artists working in traditional
media and is firmly linked to 19th and early 20th century American and
European paintings.
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David Collins says his work is about memory, but I see a lot of history here as well.  
Collins paintings give you an overview of modern art in just one painting. The
work is abstract, minimalist like muted colors, cubist/futurist like shapes, flat, but
playing with dimensionality. Collins further connects through his reference of  
collage and architectural objects. References to point perspective help to
trace connections from work made over 500 years ago.
History of art is an important aspect of David Collins work, but he is not stuck or just
repeating the past. Collins also makes some important but subtle innovations. You
have to get close to the surface of this work to see the light lines that seem to refer
to architecture or core design elements. Some of the implied lines will fall back in
space and other times just stop you in your tracks. This makes for more of a musical
piece feel that is fast in tempo and then has a jolting rests.  
Untitled Tondo - 2011 - acrylic and paper on wood
Displayed together, Collins’ round paintings complement each other very well. I
don’t know if the curator or artist decided to exhibit these pieces stacked
horizontally three in a row, but it really works to create a good dialog between
the smaller works. In fact, the show itself is curated to inspire silent conversation
between paintings.  David Collins’ show runs through September 24th.
On Approach  2010 -46 x 70 inches
After you see David Collins’ show, don’t miss the always-inspirational sculpture garden.
I am particularly fond of the sculpture garden, because my girl friend, now wife, and I
had our first kiss there. I took my wife there because I knew about the beautiful works
displayed in the garden as well as the rich tradition of the gallery space. The place
just inspires romance.

Vantage Point  2011 - 38 1/8 x 54 1/8 inches
Traveling Light 2 - 2011 - oil and acrylic on linen
Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden
6616 Spring Valley Road
Dallas, Texas 75254


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