David von Bahr (b.1992) Stockholm, Sweden.
As a painter, von Bahr is direct and effective. He eschews drafts or outlines in favor of a direct meeting with the canvas where his motives take form through improvisation and instance. Von Bahr sees this bluntness as an intrinsic part of his work and sets up practical guidelines to enable this freedom. Abstract patterns, blocks of color and scattered brush strokes are ordered into an intuitive framework shaped by the artist for the sake of efficiency and satisfaction. Von Bahr interacts with the canvas in a self-described dance, the sheer size of it permitting him to move around it without hinder, rendering his process fully physically engaged. The paintings are deliberately “the size of a human being” to reinforce their presence and make them an active contributor in the exchange occurring between the painting and the artist, as well as the observer.
The focus on movement is not only restricted to the process itself, but is repeated in chosen mediums and motives, dragged to create imagery that rightfully communicates the force that caused it. These bursts of paint are then scrambled and reworked into correlating yet distinct designs. In most ways, von Bahr’s practice harkens back to modernist traditions. The physicality of action-painting and ordered abstractness of celebrated masters are present, by legacy and influence rather than direct appropriation. The outcome of his work is a thoroughly contemporary style of painting, permeated with reverence for the experience of art and creation.