Art Basel/Miami Beach
January 14, 2011
“Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire.” -Patti Smith
A gallery from San Francisco, Hackett Mill--an establishment serving as art dealer and advisor--brought out quiet American painter David Park to this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach. The gallery maintains its classy act by focusing on one artist who is well known and yet not trendy enough for many of the Art Basel attendees. American-born David Park (1911-1960) is one of the country’s most important painters. Focusing mainly on human figures and recognizable objects, he broke through the abstract expressionism period post World War II.
The exhibited paintings were small, subtle, and expressive, much like the painter’s life. Unlike other exhibition booths, Hackett Mill focused its approach and the sensitive curation inspired me. I believe that the show was successful commercially and economically, yet quietly successful. Much of the sales were due to the presentation, which were tasteful and truly reflected Park’s American lifestyle: elemental but mature. Viewers could understand Park’s approach on each painting without intimidation.
Park’s subject matter, largely human figures, is simple but powerful. The figures carry sensitivity and poignant stories: and even if a viewer doesn’t know the background to a painting, he can easily make up a sentimental one. While the paintings are not sentimental like many American greeting cards, they are non-confrontational, which I find most original in American paintings.
I hope, like me, that you’ll find David Park’s paintings classic while being expressive and modern. Finally I’ve found an American painter who can live up to some of the beautiful paintings of post World War II artists from Europe.