David Bailin | The Erasing
Exhibition Dates: October 18 – December 1, 2018
Opening Reception: First Thursday, November 1, 2018, 6 – 8pm
Koplin Del Rio Gallery is pleased to announce its sixthth exhibition of drawings by Arkansas artist David Bailin.
The Erasing, a series of large-scale works on paper was begun in 2015 as an avenue for Bailin to express his father’s deteriorating memory as a result of Alzheimer’s Disease. This series is an attempt to convey the psychological devastation that the disease has on those suffering from it, and the loved ones who bear witness to what is essentially the fading, or erasing, of a person. At first glance, the charcoal drawings appear as abstractions; recognizable figures, places and subjects slowly registering in the viewer’s focus. Bailin illustrates memories from his childhood in layers and proceeds in drawing and erasing, erasing and drawing and erasing again. Thus reflecting his father’s fragmented memory.
I have never thought much about the role memory plays in the preservation and continuity of one’s identity. As an artist who witnessed the waning of my father’s personhood through the dissolution of his memory, I wrestled with how to convey the devastating personal and human experience of memory loss without relying on visual clichés.”
The final image in my drawings is largely the result of the pentimenti that moved the narrative along but did not resolve it. Sometimes, instead, the layers of earlier drawings overpower the last, like quicksand under a surface of marks and erasures. Those unresolved drawings, with stratum of partially rendered scenes and gestures, were the visual and technical cues for the Erasing series. The frustration of trying to define what was unformed yet intimated by what appeared earlier—the back-and-forth process of drawing in and erasing out, having an idea or image revealing itself one minute only to fall back into obscurity the next—mimicked what I saw happen to my father in his heroic effort to recognize his own narrative in the moment.
This series is the result of my final collaboration with my father.
As with his memories, only the ghosts are left. -David Bailin
David Bailin received his MA from Hunter College in New York and his BFA at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has received fellowship awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the NEA / Mid-American Arts Alliance as well as the Arkansas Art Council. Bailin was given a solo exhibition in 2000 at the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock and at the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2009. His work has been acquired by a number of public institutions including the Arkansas Art Center Foundation Collection in Little Rock, and Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington D.C. In 2012 he participated in the 54th Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Art Center and received the prestigious Delta Award. David Bailin currently lives and works in Little Rock, Arkansas.
For further information or photos, please contact Kimberly Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.