Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, Los Angeles, C42
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery presents a selection of shaped canvases from the 1980s by artist Tony DeLap (b. 1927, Oakland, CA). These beveled works serve as investigations into themes of perception and the nature of transformation. Bruce Guenther writes about these paintings in his 2000 essay, The Shadow on the Wall “DeLap intellectually sublimated the objectness of sculpture into the vocabulary of painting. He began to dissect the formal elements of painting to highlight them as distinct entities, all the while having them remain physically interlocked to create a complex and dynamic whole. DeLap’s approach was to systematically analyze the structure of a painting and take apart the pieces - support, ground, color, surface, edge and frame - to determine their importance...DeLap’s surfaces from the beginning are a wonder of refinement and sophistication, which is nowhere more evident than in the paint surface of the works of the 1980s ... The acrylic paint of DeLap’s work is cool and textureless, almost remote in its neutrality. He developed a process of layering pigments that is dense and opaque, almost machinelike in its perfection.”
DeLap, who lives and works in Southern California, hails from a generation of American minimalists that include Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Sol LeWitt, and is referenced by Judd in his seminal 1965 essay Specific Objects. DeLap’s work has been included in such landmark exhibitions as The Responsive Eye, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1965, and Primary Structures, the Jewish Museum, New York, 1966.
In addition to the aforementioned museums, Tony DeLap’s work also resides in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo and the Tate Modern, London.