Bailin Studio

Interruption drawing

About the Artist

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DAVID BAILIN is an artist working primarily in drawing. He earned his MA from Hunter College in New York and his BFA at the University of Colorado, Boulder and received fellowship awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the NEA / Mid-American Arts Alliance as well as the Arkansas Art Council. The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation Collection in Little Rock and the National Jewish Museum in Washington D.C. are among the number of private and public institutions that have acquired is work. Bailin received critical reviews in ARTnews, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, the Oxford American Magazine, Art Ltd and other periodicals, and was the subject of a 2008 documentary entitled “Charcoal Lines.” Bailin’s work is profiled in the fourth edition of Drawing Essentials by Deborah Rockman, published in 2020 by the Oxford University Press, and Creative Practices for Visual Artists by Kenneth Steinbach, published in 2018 by Focal Press. In 2014, The Arkansas Times weekly selected David Bailin as one of Arkansas’ Visionaries.

Bailin is represented by Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Seattle, WA (formerly Los Angeles, 1982 - 2015), and M2 Gallery, Little Rock, AR. David Bailin currently lives and works in Wellfleet, MA.

View résumé

Gatherings • 2022 – 2023

I dislike crowds. They make me uncomfortable. Especially groups of people congregating around a single idea or ideology. They are the Cossacks that terrorized my ancestors and who terrorize us now. This series shows only the gathering. What threatens them is rarely real but it is they who haunt my dreams.

— David Bailin • 2022

Ghosts 2020 – 2021

During the Covid Pandemic, I relocated across the country. As anyone who has sorted, packed, and thrown away 40+ years of accumulation, the move was mentally and physically exhausting. When I drew I drew in my small sketchbook and, focused, appropriately, on images of floods, fires, and loss.

— David Bailin • 2021

Fire Cycle • 2019 – 2020

After several years working on the large-scale Erasing Series, I'm drawing small. The poem, The Fire Cycle, by Zachary Schomburg from his book Scary, No Scary, published by Black Ocean Press, 2009, inspired me with so many visual ideas of solicitude and sublime immolation that I couldn't resist exploring his brilliant vision.

The Erasing • 2015 – 2019

In his artist statement about his current drawing series, "The Erasing," Bailin, 62, writes: "As an artist who witnessed the waning of my father’s personhood through the dissolution of his memory, I wrestled with how to convey the devastating personal and human experience of memory loss without relying on visual clichés." The answer to that question is revealed in the creative process of the artworks of "The Erasing": draw, erase part of the drawing, repeat, repeat, repeat.

— Ellis Widner • Into The Void • 2017

The Last • 2015

From his early Holocaust drawings,[…] to his series of Biblical scenes set in the midcentury, to today's erasings, works that reference the loss of memory and personality, Bailin's narratives offer us a way to think about the human condition. We can be cruel, we can be banal, and eventually we aren't anymore.

— Leslie Newell Peacock • Bailin. Criswell. Peters • 2015

Dreams & Disasters • 2013 - 2015

The drawings in [this series] are ephemeral and dreamlike, […] and the figures and settings emerge out of Bailin’s marks—marks of abstraction, gesture, texture, and motion—as if surfacing within one’s consciousness out of white noise. […] His works skirt the edge of abstraction...

— Christopher Michno • Exhibition Review • art ltd, 2014

C • 2011 - 2012

Bailin … presents incidents that mark a transition in ordinary lives–the ordinary lives of what seem to age minor captains of industry or their mid-level subordinates–to something outside the ordinary. Drawn in charcoal (and coffee!) on large sheets of paper, Bailin’s rough-hewn but beautifully detailed pictures present us with men in crisis–that is, men who seem to have grasped that their crises have overcome them and require resistance or escape.

— Peter Frank • Haiku Reviews •, 2012

Paper Trails • 2005 - 2011

[Bailin's] interiors and landscapes made since 2001 are as likely to resonate with texts by Eco or Borges as with anonymous images plucked from old magazines and newspapers. […] Bailin approaches each blank page as if a theatrical space to be occupied, activated. Each sheet becomes the site of a performance—Bailin’s own gestural charcoal dance and his character’s parallel search for a place, a form, a moment of reprieve.

— Leah Ollman • Catalog Essay • 2008

Archive of Art and Theater • 1977 - 2007

The Archive surveys the 30 years of my early artistic development from performance art to large scale narrative drawings. While the formats change there remains a core theme that continues in my most current work.

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