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  • David Eichholtz

First Ever Presentation, Dean Fleming’s 1979-80 Paintings: Place and Time As Geometric Abstractions

Dean Fleming Pueblo, 1980 Acrylic, Roplex, Libre Soil on canvas 66" x 65.5" Copyright © Dean Fleming, Courtesy David Richard Gallery

DEAN FLEMING Geometric Abstract Paintings From 1979 to 1980 Explore Abstractions of Place and Time On view through July 13, 2019

David Richard Gallery, LLC 211 East 121 ST | New York, NY 10035 P: (212) 882-1705

The selection of paintings in this exhibition is part of a larger body of about a dozen similar works by Dean Fleming that were painted during 1979 and 1980 and incorporated soil, shale, sand and minerals as the pigment. This is the first time these paintings have ever been exhibited. Moreover, they are very significant on many levels, conceptually and aesthetically, marking a pivotal point in Fleming’s career and oeuvre.

Dean Fleming Sand, 1980 Acrylic, Roplex, shale, sand on canvas 66" x 65.5" Copyright © Dean Fleming, Courtesy David Richard Gallery

These paintings explore complex subjects such as place and time, but also mark, after a decade-long hiatus from geometric abstraction, Fleming’s return to his familiar visual language that has become his metaphor for relating to the abstractions of life. Just as Fleming used geometry to understand and convey his perceptions of space and the fourth dimension in the 1960s following the inspiration and knowledge of vector geometry and geodesic domes from the teachings of Buckminster Fuller, Fleming turned his attention again to multifarious concepts, such as place and time. And, he tackled those subjects inspired by the culture and teachings of the Native American people of the Ute and Lakota tribes as well as living and working among indigenous peoples in Asia and Latin America during his many international travels and explorations in the 1970s.

Dean Fleming Medicine Wheel #1, 1979 Acrylic, Roplex, Libre Soil on canvas 66" x 66" Copyright © Dean Fleming, Courtesy David Richard Gallery

The literalness of incorporating soil, shale and sand from various geographical locations of importance to Fleming became a metaphor for the much larger and profound concept of place. In particular, place referenced both Fleming’s physical location in Colorado at that time, living and working at his beloved artist community, Libre, as well as his placement in the strata of life, career, community and family. Libre has been an important and grounding place for Fleming since 1966 when he witnessed an Ute Sun Dance in Ignacio, Colorado. It changed his life, more profoundly than he realized at that time, when he knew he and his wife had to move back to the land and live in the mountains, raising their children, growing their food and living in peace, harmony and simplicity and focusing on his art. Little did he realize that the Sun Dance would become part of his artwork.

Dean Fleming Navajo, 1980 Acrylic, Roplex, Libre soil on canvas 66" x 66" Copyright © Dean Fleming, Courtesy David Richard Gallery

The circle was inspired by the Medicine Wheel that references the cycle of the seasons, the four directions East, West, North and South, the path of the Sun and man, the intersection of both, and thus, the symbol for life and death, time and generally, the cycle of life for the Lakota tribe. Fleming related to these concepts and hence adopted them as his “perfect Analogy for God” following the exuberant peaks and disheartening valleys he experienced in the 1970s that were manifest in his aesthetic shifts from calligraphic and Zen inspirations to gestural abstraction and staining canvases.

Dean Fleming Luna, 1979 Acrylic on canvas 66" x 66" Copyright © Dean Fleming, Courtesy David Richard Gallery

Paintings Above are Included in a Curated Two-Person Exhibition: REBECCA ALLAN and DEAN FLEMING Landscape Medicine On view through July 13, 2019 View Exhibition Here

Dean Fleming’s Gouache Paintings On Paper From 1964 Included In: ONLINE - WORKS ON PAPER UNIQUE PAINTINGS, WATERCOLORS, PASTELS AND COLLAGES Online Presentation Featuring Abstract Expressionism, Color Field, Hard Edge and Op Art Selections By: Alcopley, Ernst Benkert, Dean Fleming, Sonia Gechtoff, Theo Hios, George Hofmann, James Kelly, Oli Sihvonen, and Nina Tryggvadottir On view through July 10, 2019 View Exhibition Here

About Dean Fleming: Fleming (b. 1933) is a painter and a founder member of the Park Place Gallery, an important artist collective and exhibition space in lower Manhattan in the early 1960s. Fleming is also a founder member of Libre, an intentional community of artists in southern Colorado where he currently lives. His vibrant paintings use geometry as a means to symbolize his deep engagement with nature, his experiences of indigenous cultures in the United States, as well as a metaphorical record of his extensive travels through Asia, Africa, Central and South America, and Europe. Fleming studied at the California School of Fine Arts with Elmer Bischoff and Frank Lobdell. There, he developed life-long friendships with Peter Forakis, Leo Valledor and Mark di Suvero. He shared a studio with Manuel Neri, Joan Brown, Bill Brown and Forakis and regularly exhibited at the Six Gallery and Batman Gallery in San Francisco. In 1966, Fleming was included in the important exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, “Systemic Painting”, organized by Lawrence Alloway. Fleming’s artworks are included in the collections of the Oakland Museum, California; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Allentown Art Museum, Pennsylvania; Denver Museum of Art, Larry Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; San Francisco Art Institute, California; Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C.; and Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, among others.

Dean Fleming Ute, 1979 Acrylic on canvas 66" x 66" Copyright © Dean Fleming, Courtesy David Richard Gallery

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