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David Summers: Bright Lines
24 September, 2022 - 30 October, 2022
Les Yeux du Monde is pleased to announce Bright Lines, an exhibition of new work by David Summers, which opens Saturday, September 24th and runs through Sunday, October 30th.
Celebrated artist and distinguished art historian, David Summers holds a B.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. from Yale University. He was the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Art Theory and Italian Renaissance Art at the University of Virginia from 1984 – 2015, before which he taught at Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pittsburgh. Summers was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996 and has written multiple groundbreaking books. Among others, these include the influential, 700+ page, Real Spaces: World Art History, and his more recent manifesto for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, A World Vision of Art.
In addition to his vast knowledge of art history and philosophy, Summers’s work is informed by his masterful understanding of light and color. Per Summers, “If I paint a glass of water on a white table against a white wall—which I have often done–my fresh canvas is titanium white, and both the glass and the water it contains are transparent. Of course, everything we call “white” is not the same, and even glasses of water cast shadows. So far my painting is a surface of slightly contrasting whites, and my glass is defined by the edge of one of these shapes. Manet (as I recall) said that there are no lines in nature, and what a line drawn around the edge of the shape represents is the surface of the glass as it turns away from me and into the virtual space of a painting. Understood in this way, no two “lines” are the same color; instead each contour is a dense compression of refractions and reflections. Over the years, I learn to see the colors in formative contours, which thus take their place in an unbroken field of light and color. As I paint I also find the pigments and mixtures that let me most closely approximate the colors I see. As I assembled the paintings for this show it struck me that the study of colors mingled and concentrated in contours had increased my ability to see colors in the forms they bounded and in the shadows of these forms. Paintings might thus be said to be made up of double qualia, the colors I seem to see and the pigments that seem to match them. Out of all this subjectivity, however, the world takes shape, a world absolutely personal but visible to everyone. What is common is the light in which everything and everyone appears. This light is not governed or legislated by my perspective or point of view. The world represented as color is adjunct to feelings and associations of all kinds, to something as open to endless invention as music.”