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Yossi Milo is pleased to present Unpredictable Drawings, a solo presentation of recent electrifying drawings by David Goldes. These new works will be presented alongside the artist's new monograph of the same name, published by Radius Books. Unpredictable Drawings opens Friday, September 8 with an artist's reception and book signing from 6-8 PM.
David Goldes' (b. 1947; New York) new body of work addresses the uncertainty of current times, and was largely created during the unpredictable months of the Covid-19 pandemic. These luminous works were created through the artist's unique process that harnesses the power of physics, chemistry, and electricity. Goldes overlays graphite drawings onto paper coated with black gesso, which he then shocks with electric currents. The graphite serves as a conduit, electrifying the drawings to yield erratic trajectories of burnt edges and singed passages of paper. In other works, the artist ignites chemical reactions to tarnish areas of silver leaf with metallic tones of yellow, orange, green, and blue. Tapping into the incredibly vast physical potential of his materials, Goldes' innovative approach centers around invisible phenomena and embraces chance and risk, giving them striking visual forms with his electric drawings.
With an extensive background in the natural sciences, including a graduate degree in molecular genetics from Harvard, Goldes applies his expert knowledge of scientific phenomena to the creation of his images. The artist's photographic practice documents the physical properties of various substances and forms of energy, such as water and electricity, through images that record the phenomena of surface tension, combustion, and gravitational pull. The drawings presented in Unpredictable Drawings expand on this practice by allowing natural forces, including electrical transmission and chemical reactions, to determine the physical form of the work.
Along with its scientific underpinnings, Goldes' practice makes deliberate reference to artists noted for their contributions to minimalism, such as Ellsworth Kelly and Carmen Herrera. Speaking to the material concerns of post-minimalism, Goldes' drawings can be read with the language of artists who fuse formalist compositional strategies with personal and social concerns. While Goldes approaches all of his work with the mind of a scientist, the social and political upheaval of the Covid-19 pandemic brought his prior epidemiological training to the forefront, leading him to explore the striking similarity of the forms in his work to various cellular and biomorphic structures. Observing these similarities in light of a public health crisis, the artist uncovered a metaphorical significance in his compositions as they relate to representations of infection, protection, isolation, and touch.
David Goldes' work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, among others. The artist has been selected for numerous fellowships and residencies including those from the Guggenheim Foundation; McKnight Foundation; Minnesota State Arts Board; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; and MacDowell Colony, among others. Goldes received an MFA in Photography from the Visual Studies Workshop at SUNY Buffalo, an MA in Molecular Genetics from Harvard University, and a BA in Biology and Chemistry from SUNY Buffalo. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and a recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Born in New York, Goldes lives and works in Minneapolis.