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).