Prophets, Parables, Paradoxes Catalog


Townsend Wolfe

Wolfe's Catalog Preface to Bailin 2000 Exhibition
Arkansas Art Scene blog image
The Arkansas Arts Center is pleased to present the exhibition David Bailin: Recent Works as we welcome a new century and celebrate the opening of our new and expanded facilities.

David Bailin came from New York to Arkansas and the Arts Center in 1986 as director of our Museum School. For over 10 years, he brought a vision and boundless energy to our institution. During this period, he began to focus his own work on drawing as a primary medium. He understood that drawings were a major art form, and that the only limitations were in the mind, hand, and soul of the maker. As this exhibition reveals, Bailin creates major works of art. The drawings of David Bailin are powerful. These sheets are unique in concept, spirit, execution, and size. They are narrative in concept, and for the most part based on the Old Testament. These are stories revealed on paper by a contemporary artist who happens to live in Arkansas. Bailin realizes his vision with rich, dark charcoal on very large sheets of paper.

Using bold and expressive line and tone he explores and divulges the emotions and substance of the tales he has selected. With their overwhelming size, the works are charged with a personal intensity of interpretation and deftness of execution. Bailin has taken parables of old and has made them of today. In doing So he has most of all created significant and relevant works of art for today and tomorrow.

As we reflect on a century of dramatic transformation and consider the challenges of a new era, we can rejoice in the creative spirit, which reminds us of our humanity. I am thankful to David Bailin for his drawings, which celebrate the human spirit.