Little Rock artist David Bailin
, whose huge charcoal and coffee-water narrative works are, by turns, about the banal and the spiritual, has added color to his scenes to truly wonderful effect. I've been enjoying his exhibition "Dreams and Disasters,"
opening today at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, virtually, thanks to his Facebook post
on the show. The digital images can only hint at Bailin's new ideas; it must be amazing to see them on the wall of the Norman Hall Art Gallery. You can see what I mean in "Push," below:
David Bailin, "Push," charcoal, pastel and coffee on paper, 78 x 80 inches.
The pastels add a dimension and light to Bailin's masterfully drawn figures and landscapes in flat space, and his broad gestural strokes — the arc above, the abstractions in the foreground — are luscious. (You can see another version of this image here, on his webpage
Here, lifted from the website, is "Kite," an absolute stunner. The textural pastel, the beauty of Bailin's line, the composition and balance of yellow in the background and pink in the foreground ... this is a great work of art. It's like Frankenthaler and Bonnard were whispering into his ear, getting a word in edgewise into the disaster narrative.
"Kite," David Bailn, 2013, charcoal, pastel, coffee on paper, 72½ x 76½ inches