In his body of work Wyevale, David Urban presents large abstract oil paintings and their relationship to representational traditions of painting. The creative layering of paint becomes a distinctive feature in Urban’s artistic process; carefully controlled elements are juxtaposed with energetic, passionate strokes.
For Urban, Wyevale represents a real place and an existential place. Urban has been driving through the town of Wyevale on the way to his cottage for decades. He went there as a young boy, and as an adult, he and his wife experience taking their own son to what Urban calls their place in the woods. The work is about his family’s relationship to this place as time passes, as it remains the same but he and his family change. The tension in these works is created by the space between happiness and sadness; reality and existentiality; youth and adulthood. One gets the feeling that Urban is trying to preserve the innocence of childhood in these Wyevale works.
Urban’s works explore the interplay between representation and abstraction while maintaining a strong sense of connectivity and rhythmical structure. Dr. David Moos, former Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, writes that Urban’s “interlocking networks take the viewer on imaginary trips through painted space, fictive depth and chromatic horizons.” The stability of the emerging figurative forms preserves the tension and monumentality found within the works.