Bailin Studio

He left a paper trail…
Studio Openings
Koplin Del Rio
6107 13th Ave South • Seattle, WA
by appointment only
Red Tree, 2019
RED TREE • 2019 • Pencil on Drafting Film over Acrylic and Gouache on Paper • 13 x 19 inches
web Visit Koplin Del Rio online
M2 Gallery
1300 Main Street • Little Rock, AR 72202
Gallery Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10am–5pm
PASSOVER [detail], 2017
PASSOVER • 2017 • Charcoal, Pastel, Acrylic, and Coffee on Prepared Paper • 72 x 107 inches
web Visit M2 online
Exhibitions • News
He Left A Paper Trail: The Work of David Bailin • Koplin Del Rio
31 JULY 2021 – 4 SEPTEMBER 2021
RED TREE (detail), 2019
RED TREE [detail] • 2019 • Pencil on Drafting Paper over Acrylic on Paper
From the “closed-due-to-pandemic” exhibition In SITU.
Back in 2014, I gave a lecture entitled He Left Paper Trail: Core, Subject and Object Matter. It was a review of my themes, processes and media spanning about 40 years. When I was putting the lecture together I was shocked that with all the iterations my work went through from the visual arts, to performance, to theater, to writing and back to the visual arts, its core never changed. I was literally following in my own footsteps.

The starting point was place. From the Dakota plains, to the foothills of Colorado, to the urban density of NYC and Boston, to the delta of Arkansas, place affected my work. For some reason, I have never felt comfortable in any of those places and have always been skeptical that there was a firm foundation under my feet. I am aware that my concerns are both earnest and comedic. So my work is an exploration of what happens in this particular environment with this particular character. I approach my work, then, as I did when I directed plays: what kind of piece of business will occur. Sometimes it’s a serious metaphysical statement about power or lack of power or meaning and purpose; other times it’s pure vaudeville.

My characters inhabit, in Situ, an environment that is more stage set than real, uncanny spaces–unstable, filled with erasures and pentimento where correspondences, references, signs and symbols are buried within charcoal like so many pixels. Even before 2002, when I first exhibited at Koplin Del Rio, I identified with a solitary character that dug, collected, prodded, pondered in some kind of environment–exterior or interior–and persevered no matter how absurd that action may be.

Place, at the beginning of the 2020s, is ambiguous. On-line, we inhabit places of symbols and memes, and, off-line, a world on fire, dangerous and desperate. My drawings are my footsteps through those spaces, traced and re-traced, as the symbols, memes, and dangers change through time and culture, but my effort to understand our place in them continues.
Exhibition Reception: August 21, 2021
Koplin Del Rio
6107 13th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98108


HE LEFT A PAPER TRAIL Location: Seattle, WA
When: 5 PM - 8 PM

08/21/2021 05:00 PM 08/21/2021 08:00 PM America/Los Angeles Exhibition Reception Reception Koplin Del Rio • 6107 13th Avenue South • Seattle, WA 98108 Koplin Del Rio [email protected] false MM/DD/YYYY
Santa Barbara, CA • Coos Bay, OR • San Angelo, TX
2021 – 2022
Jackson Heights (detail), 2019
Jackson Heights [detail] • 2019 • Charcoal, Colored-Pencil, and Coffee on Paper • 59 x 75½  inches
From Roots to Celebration of the New.
Curated by renowned art critic Peter Frank, the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art proudly presents the work of seven contemporary abstract artists.
In a period of art that values reproducibility, speed, and spectacle, these seven artists find a common ground and belief in the unique, the contemplative, and the inventive use of their materials.
There is a weave of complex dimensions presented with the group 21st Century Abstraction. Seven diverse backgrounds, seven differing techniques, seven different locales and yet an abiding sense of trust that their work contributes to the continued value of abstraction in this century.
The collection is made up of seven artists working in studios across the country. Their paintings have been exhibited and collected extensively across the United States and internationally. They include: Sammy Peters, Katherine Chang Liu, David Bailin, Connie Connally, Jeri Ledbetter, Brad Ellis and Doug Trump with guest artist Wosene Worke Kosrof.

Go to the website here.

Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art

955 La Paz Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
Mon-Fri 10am-4pm
Sat 11am-5pm Closed Sunday


Towards a 21st Century Abstraction Location: Santa Barbara, CA
When: 10 AM - 4 PM

07/08/2021 10:00 AM 07/08/2021 04:00 PM America/Los Angeles Exhibition Opens On View Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art • 955 La Paz Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108 Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art [email protected] false MM/DD/YYYY

Coos Art Museum

235 Anderson Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420
Tue-Fri 10am-4pm
Sat 1-4pm Closed Sun/Mon


Towards a 21st Century Abstraction Location: Coos Bay, OR
When: 10 AM - 4 PM

10/08/2021 10:00 AM 10/08/2021 04:00 PM America/Los Angeles Exhibition Opens On View Coos Museum of Art • 235 Anderson, Coos Bay, OR Coos Museum of Art [email protected] false MM/DD/YYYY

San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts

1 Love St, San Angelo, TX 76903
Tues-Sat 11am-4pm
Sun 1pm-4pm Closed Monday


Towards a 21st Century Abstraction Location: San Angelo, TX
When: 11 AM - 4 PM

07/08/2022 11:00 AM 07/08/2022 04:00 PM America/Chicago Exhibition Opens On View San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts • 1 Love St, San Angelo, TX 76903 San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts [email protected] false MM/DD/YYYY
DRAWING ESSENTIALS: A Complete Guide to Drawing
Deborah Rockman
Drawing Essentials Banner
Drawing Essentials App-64
Page 1: L: Bailin, FORGOTTEN, 2017 • R: Bailin, PASSOVER, 2017
Tricycle Drawing
Page 2: TL: Bailin, IN-LAWS, 2018 • TR: Bailin, PARTY, 2018 • BL: Bailin, THE TOAST, 2018
With expository text accompanying five full color reproductions, the series ERASING is highlighted in the fourth edition of Deborah Rockman’s Drawing Essentials appendix. Drawing Essentials includes more than one hundred illustrations from twenty-two contemporary artists. View details about the book on-line.
Late 2020
Tricycle Drawing
TRICYCLE [detail] • 2018 • Charcoal, Colored-Pencil, Pastel and Coffee on Paper • 78 x 83 inches
Manifest received 1187 submissions from 354 artists from all across the U.S. and the world. The publication will include 110 works by 66 artists. View exhibition-in-print on line.
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The Anxiety of Style
DB painting in 1974
Artist with paintings, 1974

I just found some photographs of paintings
I created in college. It reminded me of how artists come to develop a style. Students use negation and hybridization as a method to come to grips with the anxiety of creating something new and personal. Negation is the easiest way to create a semblance of uniqueness. Take the current practice and do everything opposite. I am reminded of Mannerist artists during the 16th century, who in the face of the great masters of the Renaissance, produced work that turned the rational approach of their mentors upside down (perspective, local color, rational composition, etc.). For me, it was playing with color field painting and gesture painting.

Field Painting 1974
Field Painting, oil & shoes on canvas, 6' x 6', 1974

Another way that the anxiety of style is handled in student work is through synthesis and hybridization. In the painting on the right, I combined the rough edged matte-knife strokes of Clifford Still with the lyrical abstract paintings of Philip Guston. The anxiety is apparent in the scratchy, nervous and agitated painting surface created by using my fingers to apply the paint and made all the more so by deliberately and self-consciously dumbing down the subject matter into child-like diagrammatic imagery.

First Meeting, 1976
First Meeting, oil on canvas, 6' x 9', 1976

Whether the work was successful, it does contain my subsequent interest in humor and narrative (see my early work here). But style can't be forced even by the most competitive art student. And with what style mature artists end up can't be justified or avoided. To paraphrase the rhetorical and wonderfully post-modernist riddle posed by that old Blackglama ad campaign: What becomes a style most? Insert your work here.