David Lynch (°1946) first trained as a painter, and although he is better known as a filmmaker, he has always continued painting. Lynch has stated “All my paintings are organic, violent comedies. They have to be violently done and primitive and crude, and to achieve that I try to let nature paint more than I paint.” Many of his works are very dark in colour, and Lynch has said this is because “I wouldn’t know what to do with colour. Colour to me is too real. It’s limiting. It doesn’t allow too much of a dream. The more you throw black into a colour, the more dreamy it gets … Black has depth. It’s like a little egress; you can go into it, and because it keeps on continuing to be dark, the mind kicks in, and a lot of things that are going on in there become manifest. And you start seeing what you’re afraid of. You start seeing what you love, and it becomes like a dream.”
Many of his works also contain letters and words added to the painting. He explains:
“The words in the paintings are sometimes important to make you start thinking about what else is going on in there. And a lot of times, the words excite me as shapes, and something’ll grow out of that. I used to cut these little letters out and glue them on. They just look good all lined up like teeth … sometimes they become the title of the painting.”
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Lynch was the subject of a major art retrospective at the Fondation Cartier, Paris from March 3 – May 27, 2007. The show was titled The Air is on Fire and included numerous paintings, photographs, drawings, alternative films and sound work. New site-specific art installations were created specially for the exhibition. A series of events accompanied the exhibition including live performances and concerts.
His alma mater, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, presented an exhibition of his work, entitled “The Unified Field”, which opened on September 12, 2014 and ended in January 2015.
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