How to be Broken, Virtue of the Mind, David Urban, 2013

Urban, David

How to be Broken, Virtue of the Mind, 2013

oil on canvas

48 x 120 in. (121.9 x 304.8 cm)

How to be Broken, Affection No. 2, David Urban, 2012

Urban, David

How to be Broken, Affection No. 2, 2013

oil on canvas

5 x 4 ft. (1.5 x 1.2 m)

And Their Winter and Night in Disguise, David Urban, 2013

Urban, David

How to be Broken, And Their Winter and Night in Disguise, 2013

oil on canvas

5 x 4 ft. (1.5 x 1.2 m)

Here is Your Emblem, David Urban, 2013

Urban, David

How to be Broken, Here is Your Emblem, 2013

oil on canvas

5 x 4 ft. (1.5 x 1.2 m)

How to be Broken, David Urban, 2013

Urban, David

How to be Broken, How to be Broken, 2013

oil on canvas

8 x 10 ft. (2.4 x 3 m)

What the Dove Sings, David Urban, 2013

Urban, David

How to be Broken, What the Dove Sings, 2013

oil on canvas

8 x 10 ft. (2.4 x 3 m)

Of What is Real, David Urban, 2013

Urban, David

How to be Broken, Of What is Real, 2013

oil on canvas

4 x 5 ft. (1.2 x 1.5 m)

Place and Condition (Late Summer), David Urban, 2013

Urban, David

How to be Broken, Place and Condition (Late Summer), 2013

oil on canvas

4 x 5 ft. (1.2 x 1.5 m)

Out of Water, David Urban, 2013

Urban, David

How to be Broken, Out of Water, 2013

oil on canvas

4 x 5 ft. (1.2 x 1.5 m)

The Pages, David Urban, 2013

Urban, David

How to be Broken, The Pages, 2013

oil on canvas

5 x 4 ft. (1.5 x 1.2 m)

Affection No. 3, David Urban, 2013

Urban, David

How to be Broken, Affection No. 3, 2013

oil on canvas

5 x 3 ft. (1.5 x 0.9 m)

How to be Broken, 2013

 

David Urban builds his paintings, layer upon layer, into strange borderlands between abstraction and representation. In How to be Broken, bold geometric forms are embedded in large swathes of colour with lush underpainting. His rhythmic and colliding brushstrokes conjure up the sounds of musical instruments the primacy of a child’s imagination. 

The work of David Urban is defined by bold collisions of line and shape, clashing tones, and kinetic brushstrokes. His dynamic paintings are built layer upon layer, incorporating the traditions of still life and landscape, abstraction and realism. His practice studies the physical presence of sound, with a strong sense of connectivity and rhythmical structure. Urban's rhythmic geometries conjure up networks of boards, beams, or girders that in combination with his gestural forms pursue an endless investigation into how and why we perceive images.

 

Urban is deeply engaged in the history and methodology of paint and in the act of painting itself. Strong brushstrokes and charcoal drawing are bedded within thickly applied paint. His work explores the interplay between representation and abstraction, simultaneously presenting two disparate threads of modern painting.

A true Renaissance man, Urban has spent his life studying histories of art, literature, and music. He completed both of his undergraduate degrees at York University in 1989, earning a BA in English Literature and a BFA in Painting and Drawing. He received two graduate degrees: a Masters in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor in 1992 and an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of Guelph in 1994.
 
Over his career, Urban has had more than 40 solo exhibitions, including a presentation at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and participated in nearly 40 group exhibitions at galleries and institutions, such as MOCA Toronto (Toronto, ON), Shanghai Art Museum (Shanghai, China), Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver, BC), Musée d'Art Moderne de Saint-Etienne (La Terrasse, France), Galerie René Blouin (Montreal, QC), and Sable-Castelli Gallery (Toronto, ON). His work has been acquired by numerous private and public collections, including those of the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, ON), Musée des Beaux Arts (Montreal, QC), and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, ON).