"All of my paintings are influenced by my years in theater. And, what interests me most is when you actually see the drama and conflict between the colors."
"Mr Black's paintings have been shown from the US Ambassador's Residence in Tunisia, to galleries throughout the United States and England."
"Black's oils, bubbling with color, unabashedly tackle everything from landscape to social mores... " - The New York Times
David Black is a serious painter. He paints what he likes, he paints what he has seen, and he paints it with a sure sense of comedy - really wild comedy - but just too perceptive and observant to be called satire. Black is an extraordinary natural talent and a voracious observer of humanity.
David Black's paintings are playful but in no way slight. The canvases are full of 'story,' but long before they take on an illustrational overload, they become painterly. Then you try looking at them as ornament, and their content asserts itself. This must be such an excruciatingly difficult trick to pull off that one assumes that Black does it by learned instinct, like swimming.
David Black is a wonderful watcher. His painting of Pool is the best I've seen since Vincent Van Gogh. His compositions are wonderfully inventive and brave: full of visual surprises. When he paints his New York background he is at the heart of his culture. One feels the pain, understanding and sympathy he feels, as one does with everything he paints.
Black's "...oils, bubbling with color, unabashedly tackle everything from landscape to social mores... the smug couple seated at a table in Benefit Dinner, the two old men playing chess beneath a stuffed deer's head in At the Club, the bilious crowd in The Backer's Audition are nicely observed New York vignettes."
David Black's paintings Fontana di Trevi and Palio Square really capture Rome and Siena. In his Moroccan painting The Tea Lady, the setting and the depth of the background give the painting an air of mystery. His use of black in The Fruit Seller is excellent and Basket Square is daring and shows a great sense of color. Unlike some other artists, when Black paints different countries his paintings look like those countries. I also admire The Carousel. The composition and the horses and white balloons create a great sense of motion and color. The painting has a monumental quality. It belongs in a museum.
There is a commanding confidence in these paintings. The small, strikingly colored images of the vineyards of Provence echo the liberation and daring of Van Gogh's works. It would be wrong, however, to think of these paintings as slavish copies of the French Impressionist. Black's palette is immediately striking, idiosyncratic and bright, full of rich primary colors, and while it shares similarities with Van Gogh's palette, it is uniquely his own. In many ways it is just as pleasurably shocking to viewers today as Van Gogh's must have been at the turn of the century...
The output by New Yorker David Black for this, his first UK exhibition, splits fairly naturally into landscape oils and acrylics and groups of heavily caricatured figures, almost gestural and filled with a childlike surprise. Works such as Hors d'oeuvres, and Maimonides Convention are obvious quick-fire, humorous comment on a slice of society known to the artist...Black's inspirational approach works when design combines with colour intensity like in the two Deauville paintings, or Indian Bathers, Benares where the overall pattern of figures strongly suggests the exotic generosity of Hindu temple carving. Spring in Union Square shows a marked handling of primary colours without resultant rawness, becoming one of the most appealing works here, while Trees on the Road in Spring, a thinly painted oil, exceptionally displays that elusive luminosity. For various reasons I liked Farmer's Market, At the Circus, Turkish Island, and The Mill House, North Stonington, but best of all is the wholly Post-Impressionist oil Rhododendrons and Azaleas. In this Black has taken a subject so loved by amateurs, and turned it into a monumental, powerfully impastoed, succinctly coloured, masterpiece.