David Reed United States, b. 1946

I wanted my paintings to seem to be about to move.  This illusion of motion seemed to me to make a connection to a viewer–to get emotions moving.  I wanted to make the physical processes used to make the paintings explicitly visible.

-David Reed


David Reed is a conceptual artist whose paintings and installations are in essence the distillation of various art movements. His art references the vivid colored contortions of mannerism and the gestural extravagances of high baroque, as well as photography and cinema, resulting in complex and thought provoking work.

Many of David Reed's paintings are formatted like filmstrips in a technique that suggests the transparent quality of photographic negatives. For the Untitled, 2001 prints, Reed wanted to explore a printmaking process that emulated the way paint appeared on the surfaces of his paintings. Master printer Jacob Samuel chose the complex technical processes of soap ground aquatint etching and chine collé to achieve Reed's desired effect. Black and white brush strokes (applied with a soap mixture to the plate) were printed on tissue-thin Japanese Gampi paper and glued to colored papers. They were then mounted to the white backing sheet while passing through the press. The three etchings each have a dimensional luminosity that defies the printmaking medium, giving ink the illusion of the presence of paint.