Review of the recent exhibition David Paulson: Recent Works at Jonathan Burden LLC, New York.
"Although their limbs and features are distorted, there is a lingering feeling that Paulson’s figures are somehow distant descendants of Michaelangelo’s Lacöon or perhaps a baroque lineage that includes Rubens’ Prometheus. Indeed, Paulson seems to start with such influences and then test them against the subsequent history of painting. El Greco’s elongations, Goya’s frankness, Picasso’s cubist fracturing, and de Kooning’s gestural exuberance are all in play here. Even high modernism lurks as Paulson tests his figures relentlessly, slamming their torqued musculature flat against the grid. Constantly built, torn apart, adjusted, and reassembled, the validity of these figures is always in question – yet, in the end, they always prove themselves worthy of the painting. The result of these pictorial trials is that Paulson’s paintings fell as if they might tear themselves from the walls. They are flickering and alive."