January 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
James Doolin: Observed- Coastal California
Exhibition Dates: January 14- February 25, 2006
Reception for the Artist: Saturday, January 14, 2006, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Discussion: Moderated by Marc Trujillo Saturday, February 11, 2006, 2:00 -3:00 PM
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 10:00am - 5:30pm, Saturday: 11:00am - 5:30pm
Koplin Del Rio Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of landscape paintings by James Doolin entitled, Observed: Coastal California. It is the first showing of the artist’s work since his death in 2002.
The exhibition focuses on a collection of open air paintings from the 1970’s, the decade that began with Doolin’s move away from abstract works and ended with the completion of Shopping Mall, a hyper real, extensively researched and meticulously executed aerial view of an intersection in Santa Monica.
The bucolic coastal paintings might be seen as a respite from the complexity of urban life as depicted in Shopping Mall. Working directly from nature was a reoccurring source of pleasure and inspiration for the artist. But these paintings are also a key to Doolin’s method of working. They demonstrate his commitment to observing nature firsthand and to the essential dialogue between seeing and understanding.
Some of these intimate and exquisite paintings on panel or canvas are studies for larger works, as with several interpretations of a dry creek bed as preparation for the visionary, Topanga Creek. Topanga Mountain becomes Doolin’s Mt. Ste-Victoire when, like Cézanne, he returns to the same view again and again to experience the changing light and atmosphere. Such observations become not only a record of the passage of time, but also of the artist’s shifting attitudes and beliefs.
From this body of previously unseen work, it is evident that Doolin’s acute understanding of light, both clarifying and transformative, comes from studying it in nature rather than contriving it in the studio. A tangible sense of atmosphere and scale give his paintings convincing illusionistic space. It is from his role as an observer of the patterns of nature that Doolin learns his most important lessons about the nature of abstraction. The application of these elements has given his subsequent works the dramatic power and elegant beauty that place James Doolin as the Twentieth Century’s foremost chronicler of California’s vast and varied landscape.
Doolin received his MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was the recipient of many awards, including the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts Grants. He exhibited throughout the United States and Australia and is included in a number of public collections including the San Jose Museum of Art, the Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu, HI, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia and Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA.