Bailin Studio


ArtNews, 122

On Paper

Jenkins Johnson

A potpourri of styles and subjects was presented in this exhibition of works on paper–from academic figure studies to still lifes of flowers to erotic pieces in the manner of Japanese comics to photo realistic graphite drawings featuring backyard pool scenes, But the strongest works were those devoted to artists self-exploration.


David Bailin used charcoal in thick blunt swipes to shape dense trees in a trio of works here. The solitary figure in these charged landscapes seems to be a stand-in for the artist struggling to find his way. In Axe (2003) he turns his back to the viewer, inspecting a felled giant. In Wall (Scare crow) 2003, he is stiffly positioned atop a small tree, wearing a business suit. In Wind (2004) the scene splinters-wild strokes like bits of wood fly apart, yet simultaneously hold the entire surface together. A lone boxer, in a taut crouching stance, is either the cause or the victim of the mayhem.

1: Axe • 2003 • Charcoal on Paper
2: Wall • 2002 • Charcoal on Paper
3: Wind • 2005 • Charcoal on Paper