One hundred and eighty one

Big Sample (Davis)

2006 by James Hyde
Temporarily at The BOILER, Brooklyn;

Hyde’s Stuart Davis Group are blown-up photographic details of Davis’s piece Report from Rockport, embellished thickly in brightly coloured paint. Davis’s Report from Rockport is an iconic piece and one of the first to put forward his “colour-space” theory, in which he stipulates that colour can be used to indicate spacial relationships by its positioning against other specific colours. It is interesting then that Hyde’s building on Davis’s details with heavy colour could be creating ‘new space’ according to Davis’s own theory. There is also of course the intrigue of breaking up one composition, abstracting details, to create another, and whether any essence of the original piece is retained. Perhaps the most distinctive detail of Davis’s is the curling lettering; curiously sideways, as it is in the original composition, it is definitely reminiscent to anyone who has seen the original. Its scale, the intense magnification, is enhanced with the heaviness of the paint Hyde chooses to use, as if he chooses to magnify the medium too, zooming in on the minuscule textures and defects in applied paint. When applying his paint Hyde used large decorating rollers, creating this magnified effect by essentially magnifying his tools as well. The quality of the paint is then juxtaposed with the seamless and block colour of the triangular stripes; both approaches to paint are bold but in different ways, creating impact as they gather strength from their contrast. Shape is also key to the impact of this composition — oversized and indecipherable in the background, dynamic and obvious at the front.


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