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"Dan Walsh: Uncommon Ground" opens at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art
Dan Walsh, Signal, 2012. © Dan Walsh. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design, Providence.

PROVIDENCE, RI.- The Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design announces the upcoming exhibition Dan Walsh: UnCommon Ground, a show of recent paintings and handmade books by New York artist Dan Walsh. UnCommon Ground opens to the public on Friday, June 8, 2012.

“UnCommon Ground is Dan Walsh’s first solo museum exhibition in America,” says Museum Director John W. Smith. “His large-scale paintings and handmade books have recently been exhibited in Paris, Seoul, Amsterdam, and Barcelona, and we’re thrilled to show his work in Providence this summer.”

Judith Tannenbaum, the RISD Museum’s Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art, says that Walsh has been devoted to abstract painting since he arrived in New York in the early 1980s, and continues to explore Minimalism’s basic language of geometry and grids, but makes it distinctly his own. “I have followed Walsh’s work since the late 1990s,” she says. “I was struck by their directness and quirky sense of play, achieved with a simple vocabulary of line, shape, and color.”

The resulting canvases are logical, but not too logical. Patterns repeat, but forms may hover at the bottom of the field and other unanticipated irregularities give a personal dimension to the work.

For this site-specific show of eight paintings—some as large as 70” x 140” and 55” x 90”— Walsh applies thin black tape to the gallery wall, installing his works above and below. “These lines bring an intimacy to the galleries; they make a large space into a model or, dare I say more fictional space,” Walsh explains. ”At RISD, I am thinking about micro and macro—how a grid or line in my painting could be an overarching structure for the whole show.”

In addition to the paintings, the exhibition includes three limited-edition handmade books designed and produced by the artist that are concurrent with his painting ideas. “They feed each other,” he says. “A problem solved in a book might make it into a painting. On the other hand, the books are an outlet for my ideas that maybe don’t belong in my paintings.”

Dan Walsh is an American artist born in 1960. His work has been exhibited in national and international venues, including the Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, New York; the Centre national d’art contemporain in Nice, France; CCNOA (Art + Architecture) in Brussels, Belgium; and the Kunstverein Medienturm, Graz, Austria. His prints and limited-edition books were the subject of a oneperson exhibition at the Cabinet des Estampes du Musée d’Art et d’histoire, in Geneva, Switzerland. He was also included in the Ljubljiana Biennial in Slovenia, and the Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art in France. Walsh lives and works in New York City.

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