David Urban has collaborated with Durham Press on two projects: Sleepy, Dreamy Highway B (an image in sequence), a portfolio of four screenprints in 1996 and Like Seeing Fallen Brightly Away, a portfolio of three etchings in 1998. Much like his painting practice, these prints feature dynamic, wandering lines juxtaposed against abstract backgrounds. Urban has studied art, music, and literature, all of which play a large influence in his work. Rothko-like backgrounds create dynamic tension against his bold and decisive lines to explore the interplay between structural geometry and color field abstraction, flat and three dimensional. Though academic, his paintings and prints still retain a sense of playfulness akin to childlike imagination and expression.
Urban's works depict the collision between abstraction and representation, exploring how and why we see. Much like Mondrian, his works are strongly influenced by music, aiming to capture the physical presence of sound through his rhythmic forms. Instead of narrative, he depicts the energy or essence of a moment - like poetry which uses words to conjure feeling or sounds, though in Urban's case he employs color and structure. Urban's portfolio Sleepy, Dreamy Highway B (an image in sequence) captures the same gestural quality of his textured paintings through screenprint, retaining their dynamism and primacy. Looping blues and reds clash against a soft yellow background, or deep maroon lines curl within quadrants of light purple. These colors serve to heighten the tension created as they interact with washes of color. Like Seeing Fallen Brightly Away, however, has removed color entirely. Working only with the tones between black and white, the contrast between his thick, almost dripping lines and their backgrounds become even more stark. Winding lines surround and play off small geometric boxes in the center, creating a new relationship between structure and freedom. Urban says "what you put into a painting is what someone can take out of it" - through his compositions and juxtapositions of form, Urban encourages both himself and the viewer to question how we see to push beyond a purely representational narrative.
For more information on David Urban's work with Durham Press, please contact us at email@example.com.
David Urban | Sleepy, Dreamy Highway B – Like Seeing Fallen Brightly Away