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In 200 Words: David Humphrey at Marcia Wood

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alice
David Humphrey, Alice, 2014; acrylic on canvas, 18 by 24 inches.

In “Blind Handshake,” at Marcia Wood Gallery through March 29, New York artist David Humphrey paints with the honesty of an amateur and the expertise of a pro. I was set adrift in assorted atmospheres of acrylic narratives and seduced by a battle for my attention between highly abstract swirls and focused figurative elements. Humphrey’s approach is analytical yet undeniably effortless—utilizing no blueprint but possessing a sense of controlled anarchy.

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A narrative unfolds with At the Door, where we spy a barefoot woman listening at a cracked door with fireworks of recondite shapes, spheres, and colorings encompassing her head. The crackle of postmodernism is sedated, the equilibrium between relaxed and sharp.

David Humphrey, Spaceman, 2012; acrylic on canvas, 44 by 44 inches.
David Humphrey, Spaceman, 2012; acrylic on canvas, 44 by 44 inches.

Sky-blue eyelashes on a yellow-hued pony in Beach Horse and a pair of staring cats, as cute as emoticons with their yellow eyes and pink noses, in Refrigerator, are playful elements. In Spaceman, cognition is protected from all outside abstractions by a helmet, as the figure remains unaware of his vulnerable physicality.

In Alice, a woman’s body is made up of tangerine nipples, unhinged swashes of paint, and rectangular prisms of pigmentation. These paintings may pose as perplexing puzzles, but they are genuine—a victorious collaboration between binary egos.

Sherri Caudell, a poet and writer from Atlanta, is the new poetry editor of Loose Change magazine, published by WonderRoot. 

Georgia Museum of Art