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David Korty
June 3 - July 2, 2021
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 3, 12 - 7 pm

Sometimes to go forward, you have to go back. Peering into the past, of childhood dreams, those phantasms and fantasies in the fold between sleep and waking, that place where you can x-ray spec into a body of work, the silhouettes of men with hats, of strokes of paint like snakes and corporeal presences, Gregor Samsa and Johnny Walker skulking in the patterns of the picture plane.

The colors are all dripped in acid, vivid hues from a nuclear age, left out in the sun to fade despite their radioactive brilliance.

David Korty’s most recent paintings beam a certain innocent grace at first glance, but they get more sinister the longer I look at them. The surfaces echo children’s animations from a far-off country, simultaneously familiar and exotic, but in their depths, the behatted man's eyes multiply, the subtle brush strokes grow more intense, fractured, almost collaged with scissors that can reform a body with the fluid grace of paint morethan any scrap culled from the curling pages of an old magazine.

This figure ghosts to me from a youth I didn't have, a boogeyman from stories told to me by older brothers and sisters, but the story transfers nonetheless. I can feel him haunting me from logos and bygone cartoons, advertisements meant to sell desires more than childhood entertainments.

Even now this character dissolves into patterns, no longer a person but a symbol, something I can dismantle, like a machine with easily replaceable / removal parts, as if his nose can be exchanged and replaced with another nose, his body a mysterious mechanism, like all bodies, something unknown and dangerous in its hidden structures.

Sometimes the pictures puncture with holes like the side of old filmstock, a line for some anachronistic machine or a scattershot of black holes in the tableaux that I might easily get lost in.

When I first saw David Korty’s paintings years ago, there was a metaphysical softness that dominated every day experiences, a witness looking out, now I feel like he's looking inward, ever deeper, to observe a subtle story not only of color and surface, but of interior universes connected to memory, both personal and in art history, animation, design, film, politics.

I feel visions from a childhood that I never had unraveling into critical and magisterial pictures that drift and dance and move, no matter how steadily I stare into them with still confidence.

-- Andrew Berardini, 2021

Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by David Korty.

David Korty (b. San Francisco, CA, 1971) lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his M.F.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has shown extensively in solo exhibitions at Night Gallery, China Art Objects, Michael Kohn, and LAXART in Los Angeles, and at Greene Naftali in New York, and at Sadie Coles HQ in London. Korty's work is included in the collections of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Grunwald Center for Graphic Arts, Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Rubell Collection, Miami. His work has been covered in Artforum, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Modern Painters, among other publications. A monograph of Korty's work entitled Blue Shelves was published by Sadie Coles and Night Gallery in 2016. In 2020, he was awarded the Frederick Hammersely Visiting Artist residency at the University of New Mexico. This will be his third solo exhibition at the gallery.

Derek Eller Gallery is located at 300 Broome Street between Eldridge Street and Forsyth Street. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday 11am to 6pm, and by appointment. For further information please contact the gallery at 212.206.6411 or visit Derek Eller Gallery is located at 300 Broome Street between Eldridge Street and Forsyth.