By Rhonda Long-Sharp
When I look at David Michael Slonim's paintings it is sometimes hard for me to imaging that he used to paint landscapes en plein-air. But when I study his conceptually abstract paintings further, that point of origin makes sense. His eye for shape, for form, and for positive and negative space is uncanny. The texture of the works, block of color, often juxtaposed with fine lines and marks, are indeed reminiscent of the three-dimensional outside world.
As New York City-based art historian Dr. Jennifer Samet once wrote about Slonim's works, "To look at his paintings is not to be taken to a specific place, but rather to a collective unconscious of our own--memories of childhood summers, glimpses through windows during old travels, those walks in the wood we carry with us as leitmotif experiences."
What first struck me about Slonim's work is his use of both familiar and more evocative color palettes--some muted, others more vibrant--and how he uses these palettes to enhance and define the forms and shapes. Juxtaposition of shapes is one thing, gesture another. But color is the emotive linchpin in Slonim's paintings. When I look at them, I am reminded of what Wassily Kandinsky said about color:
"Color is a power which directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano, with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul."
Slonim is a visual music maker.
Rhonda Long-Sharp is the owner of Long-Sharp Gallery, Indianpolis. Long-Sharp specialized in post-war and contemporary multiples and works on paper. Long-Sharp Gallery specializes in works on paper, multiples, and drawings by modern and contemporary masters including Picasso, Miró, Francis, Frankenthaler, Gilliam, Warhol, Haring, Indiana, and Lichtenstein. In addition, LSG is dedicated to a contemporary program that incorporates paintings, photography, and sculpture, as well as conceptual and multimedia art by a growing roster of regional, national, and international artists.