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David McDonald

Only This

Los Angeles | April 24 - May 30, 2121
Press: Artrabbit






What is here when we stop trying to arrive there? What is here, so close that we do not notice? Words will never answer. What knows cannot be known except to Itself. It is undivided Silence, empty of nothing, continually moving, continually still. It is what we are. Only This! It is where the mind cannot go, where mind must remain in Unknowing.
Excerpted from Only This! Poems and Reflections by Dorothy S. Hunt





David McDonald  presents "Only This” a series of modest exquisite candy colored sculptures using low tech materials and found objects infused with washed out watercolor paint. “Only this” Is the answer a zen teacher will reply to more or less any observation or question. Only this, is a command to be here now. Only this moment, the past is gone, the future not yet formed. McDonald who is the Abbott of Dharma Zen Center, a zen Buddhist center in a Korean lineage, has studied these ideas in meditation for almost as long as he has made similar pilgrimages within and for art. The forms are  like post-minimalist investigations which combine cylindrical forms and stacked cubic concrete-like masses, sandwiched one atop the other, carefully balancing weight, color and form. McDonald works initially in small stages,  often using hydrocal and or sand casting. The highly textured, organic forms are then piled up like add-ons to a core structure in a tradition of art of the ready-made or found object  resulting in a delightful scrappy kitchen sink minimalism.   Like one of his favorite artists Richard Tuttle, McDonald is excited by forms that appear casual and playful, while constantly wanting to be reductive.  The ensuing tension is a place where his pure minimalist instincts grate pleasingly against his hand built material grappling. What results are  artworks that may recall natural forms from a coral reef, a tentacle or simply a new McDonald form, contending with the complexity of being with the extremes of life, both letting go and holding on.These tiny devotional forms,  are so deeply considered  and scrutinized in their shape and form they virtually demand you imagine them at an expansive scale - - like how a Phylidda Barlow sculpture encroaches upon a ceiling in a massive room. McDonald’s  works however lean more to a place where you may find a Donald Judd. His miniatures want to command acres of open empty desert landscape. Only this.


David McDonald was born in Liverpool, England and had a nomadic upbringing living in Brazil, Venezuela, and Canada during his first 17 years. He has had over twenty solo exhibitions nationwide and has been reviewed by numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, New Yorker, the Santa Fean, and Art Ltd. He is a recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2006 Pollock Krasner Fellowship. His work can be found in the Edward Albee Foundation, Nora Eccles Museum of Art, and the West Collection. He recently attended a two week residency at the Montello Foundation in Montello, NV. He has works up in two shows currently at Exhibitions2D in Marfa and at 5.Gallery in New Mexico.

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