Art at Galería Atenea

By Peter Leventhal

David Wright returns to San Miguel de Allende and to the Galería Atenea with an exhibit of great breadth and consummate skill that always characterizes his work. For those who know and admire David Wright and his paintings of lily ponds and goldfish there are several examples of this genre. These pieces have extended David’s deft manipulation of paint considerably. Against the controlled descriptive, a sudden burst of brushwork extends across the canvas in explosive gesture giving the picture a new vigor. These marks more than excite. They abstract the surface of the picture, bringing the surface forward and then pulling it back so that an internal breath takes place.

The paintings that mark a departure for David are landscapes of the Mexican desert by moonlight. The beautiful serenity these pictures induce is remarkable. David Wright’s control over the close-knit tone and color of these landscapes is masterful. A close examination reveals a richness of color effects even while the paint seems monochromatic.

The mood in these painting is elegiac. The skies alone with their full moons rising high over beautiful nocturnal clouds evoke richly moving sensations.

They remind this viewer of the drawings of the under-publicized 19th century artist Samuel Palmer and the paintings of Casper David Friedrich. The mood, awe-inspiring and slightly melancholic, is highly romantic.

Just as romantic are several floral paintings of sturdy roses and peonies. The construction of these flowers in rich, buttery paint gives the artist a chance to showcase his considerable skill.

The exhibition opened last Friday and continues for several months. It is a delicious potent demonstration of the artist’s craft and a testimony to the power of art to move us in our sensation.


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