Press release - Tommy Fitzpatrick Landmark
TOMMY FITZPATRICK Landmark February 14 – March 10, 2023 Artist Reception: Thursday, February 16 from 5 to 8 PM 508 West 26th Street, Suite 5C David Richard Gallery, LLC 508 West 26th Street, Suite 5C | New York, NY 10001 P: (212) 882-1705 www.davidrichardgallery.com
David Richard Gallery is pleased to present Landmark, an exhibition by Texas-based artist Tommy Fitzpatrick and his first solo presentation with the gallery in New York. The exhibition is comprised of ten of Fitzpatrick’s most recent paintings all dating from 2022 with sizes ranging from 70 x 50, 48 x 36, 32 x 24 and 24 x 18. At a moment when the average rent prices in Manhattan just hit a record high of $5,142 , Fitzpatrick’s paintings seem all the more relevant. Following in the conceptual footsteps of Dan Graham’s seminal photo essay Homes for America (1966-1967), Fitzpatrick’s paintings depict stylized domestic architecture, comprised of paired down forms and executed with brightly colored bold geometric planes. They are rendered in thick layers of paint, with deftly troweled edges of drastically differing depths of surface impasto, which may vary up to over a quarter of an inch. Abandoning the brush for the trowel Fitzpatrick’s distinct hulking surfaces are workman like and more strongly resemble the hand of a seasoned mason than of a conventional painter. As such, one cannot help but grapple with the physical presence of the paintings themselves when they are encountered for the first time in person. Yet it is Fitzpatrick’s stirring depiction of domestic architecture that linger with the viewer leaving them to ask themselves, what is a home, and ponder the question, what will be the fate of suburban vernacular architecture in the wake of the speculative housing crisis and the subsequent greater economic fallout across America. Fitzpatrick has maintained a lifelong fascination with architecture since growing up in a Dallas suburb. He was highly impacted by his time assisting Frank Stella with an installation of a mural in Houston, it led to the development of a painting practice which moved towards geometric compositions rendered in electric hues and embraced modernism in both form and content. Modernism’s strive for utopian ideals propelled architecture and the arts simultaneously, and Fitzpatrick’s current paintings seem concerned with the aspects of Modernism which are most widely recognized for their virtue. “Things come and go, that is reflected in our architecture… Buildings that were once a remarkable feat of their time go out of style and are knocked down for the latest innovations. But there seems to be a quality within certain buildings and landmarks that acts as a universal commonality.” -Tommy Fitzpatrick Of course, in the pursuit of a profound purpose Modernism has had to contend with the inevitable realities of its dystopic failures and the impact on society at large. Many of Fitzpatrick’s paintings depict variations on a colonial style known as the saltbox. These homes are not necessarily known for their architectural excellence, rather they exemplify qualities of what Dan Graham has recognized is the case with most postwar domestic architecture. “They exist apart from prior standards of "good” architecture. They were not built to satisfy individual needs or tastes. The owner is completely tangential to the product’s completion. His home wasn’t really possessable in the old sense; it wasn’t ‘designed to last for generations’; outside of its immediate ‘here and now’ context it is useless, designed to be thrown away. Both architecture and craftsmanship as a value are subverted by dependence on simplified and easily duplicated techniques of fabrication and standardized modular plans.” - Dan Graham However, the dystopic truth endures that these structures remain a fundamental necessity, a facet of survival for a modern non-nomadic society. And even with their ubiquitous quality they remain quintessentially American in their form and imbued with primacy in the sociological function they provide. About Tommy Fitzpatrick: Fitzpatrick (b. 1969 in Dallas, Texas) currently lives and works in New Braunfels, Texas, and is a Professor and Head of Painting at the Texas State University in San Marcos. He earned his BA from The University of Texas at Austin, and his MFA from Yale University School of Art. He has won numerous awards including, the Winsor Newton Oil Bar Limited Prize from Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT given in recognition of outstanding work in painting and printmaking. He has shown extensively throughout the United States and abroad, including over 20 solo exhibitions including Miro Gallery, San Jose, CA; Inman Gallery, Houston, TX; Johnson Gallery, Dallas, TX; Michael Schultz Gallery, Seoul, Korea; Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY; and Schultz Contemporary, Berlin, Germany. His paintings are in the public collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as well as the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. About David Richard Gallery: Since its inception in 2010, David Richard Gallery has produced museum quality exhibitions that feature Post War abstraction in the US. The presentations have addressed specific decades and geographies as well as certain movements and tendencies. While the gallery has long been recognized as an important proponent of post-1960s abstraction—including both the influential pioneers as well as a younger generation of practitioners in this field—in keeping with this spirit of nurture and development the gallery also presents established artists who embrace more gestural and representational approaches to the making of art as well as young emerging artists. In 2015 David Richard Gallery launched DR Art Projects to provide a platform for artists of all stripes—international, national, local, emerging and established—to present special solo projects or to participate in unique collaborations or thematic exhibitions. The goal is to offer a fresh look at contemporary art practice from a broad spectrum of artists and presentations. The Gallery opened its current location in New York in 2017.  Frank, Robert, Manhattan rents hit an all-time high in January, CNBC, Feb. 9, 2023, pp.1  Lloyd-Smith, Harriet, Painting architecture: Tommy Fitzpatrick’s fractured modernist visions, Wallpaper*, October 7, 2022  Graham, Dan, Homes for America (1966-1967), Otis Arts Institute of Los Angeles, 1975, pp. 22Since its inception in 2010, David Richard Gallery has produced museum quality exhibitions that feature Post War All Artwork Copyright © Tommy Fitzpatrick
Photographs by Yao Zu Lu Courtesy David Richard Gallery.