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Works

This is a painting titled Gasoline Pump by artist David Byrd. The materials are oil on canvas and the dimensions are 19 inches by 25 inches.This is a painting named Woman in Car, Filling Station by David Byrd. The materials are oil on canvas, and the dimensions are 42 by 54 inches.This is a painting named West Point by David Byrd. The materials are oil on canvas, and the dimensions are 40 by 48 inches.This is a painting named Man With Banana by David Byrd. The materials are oil on canvas, and the dimensions are 15 by 20 inches.This is a painting named Houses on Delaware Street by David Byrd made in 2006. The materials are oil on canvas, and the dimensions are 24 by 30 inches.This is a painting named Bicycle Couple by David Byrd made in 1997. The materials are oil on canvas, and the dimensions are 40 by 30 inches.This is a painting named Man and Institution by David Byrd made in 1993. The materials are oil on canvas, and the dimensions are 13 by 17 inches.This is a painting named Man Unbuttoning His Cuff by David Byrd made in 1986. The materials are oil on canvas, and the dimensions are 28 by 22 inches.This is a painting named The Cave by David Byrd made in 1973. The materials are oil on canvas, and the dimensions are 14 by 18 inches.This is a painting named Bungalow in Peekskill by David Byrd made in 1969. The materials are oil on canvas, and the dimensions are 28 by 34 inches.This is a painting named Max by David Byrd made in 1968. The materials are oil on canvas, and the dimensions are 19 by 15 inches.

Press Release

David Byrd
February 7 –
March 9, 2019

Anton Kern Gallery is pleased to announce our first exhibition with New York painter David Byrd, and our representation of the David Byrd Estate. We will introduce Byrd’s work with a selection of portraits, landscapes, and genre paintings ranging from 1952 - 2009.

 

Byrd’s style bears influence from different art historical periods: from European Post-Impressionism (ie: Seurat), to Modernism (ie: Balthus and his brother Pierre Klossowski), and Cubism (ie: his teacher Amédée Ozenfant), to American Realism (ie: George Tooker and Ben Shahn), and Regionalism (ie: Andrew Wyeth). Byrd injects realistic portrayal with fantasy, creating an unsettling psychology to the otherwise tranquil compositions. His paintings have a distinct quality of light, and a harmonious palette of muted greens, yellows, greys, and browns, applied with thinned oil paint using a dry brush technique. His prodigious output demonstrates his understanding of human emotion, his isolation, and a lifetime spent carefully looking.

 

David Byrd was born in Springfield, Illinois in 1926, and lived and worked in various parts of New York for the majority of his life. At age 17 he joined the Merchant Marines, and was later drafted into the US Army during World War II. He used the GI Bill to enroll at the Ozenfant School of Fine Arts in New York City, where he studied for two years under the French painter Amédée Ozenfant.

 

Throughout the 1950s, Byrd worked a series of odd jobs-- including janitor, delivery man, movie house usher -- anything that would cover his bills while also (and more importantly) allowing him time to paint. From 1958 - 1988 he worked as an orderly in the psychiatric ward at the VA Hospital in Montrose, New York. His daily experiences during this time inspired his most defining body of work.

 

Byrd was a keen observer of his surroundings. He painted the people and situations he encountered, past and present, from memory. Byrd also painted scenes from his daily commute-- including mountains, bridges, houses, gas stations, and shopping centers. In 1988 David retired, bought land in the Catskills and spent the next several years building a home-cum-studio/gallery for himself, where he focused full-time on painting until his death in 2013.

 

David Byrd’s work was not publicly exhibited until he was offered a solo show at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, only a few months before his death at the age of 87. Since then, and through the establishment of the David Byrd Estate, his work has continued to be exhibited posthumously.

 

His first solo exhibition in New York City will open at White Columns in January 2019 and run concurrently with his show at Anton Kern Gallery through March 9, 2019. Special thanks to Jody Isaacson and Jessica Farrell from the David Byrd Estate for making this exhibition possible.

 

Previously his work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Fleisher Ollman, Philadelphia, PA (2018); and Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle (2013, 2017). Notable group shows include Byrd Hammond Klossowski Olowska at Balice Hertling, Paris (2018 - 2019), OUTSIDE-as in: out-of-doors, as in: not belonging to, curated by Matthew Higgs at Karma, Amagansett, NY (2016), and The Patients and the Doctors: David Byrd and Peter Gallo at Zieher Smith Horton, New York (2015).

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