David Roth: The Interference Color Paintings

First Friday, May 4 - Saturday, July 14, 2007

(January 2007)

Philadelphia, PA…Always eagerly awaited, new work by David Roth, one of the most important conceptual abstract artists of the past 45 years, will debut in David Roth: The Interference Color Paintings at Moderne Gallery, 111 N. Third Street, Philadelphia PA 19106 (215-923-8536; www.modernegallery.com). The exhibition opens on First Friday, May 4 and continues through Saturday, July 14, 2007. This is the first exhibit of contemporary art presented by Moderne Gallery and David Roth's first solo exhibition since 2001.

David Roth: The Interference Color Paintings will include at least 20 new works, extending the artist's fascination with "the reflection of light on a 'necessarily' elusive material surface." His strokes "know their place in a motif that exists entirely within the painting." According to Roth, these new works in Interference Color paints - ephemeral, chameleon-like paints that reflect light and change color when seen from different angles -- are an attempt to realize his earlier, well-known "Graphite" works in color. The dynamism of the colors adds to the dramatic actuality of the paintings.

 "David Roth is an important and innovative Modernist painter of the 20th - 21st centuries. We have been pleased to present his vintage works and now are excited to step into the contemporary art scene with his most recent paintings here at Moderne Gallery," says owner/director Robert Aibel. "I am eager to see his art receive the recognition it deserves."

The Interference Color Paintings are David Roth's most advanced work, exploring ideas and solving aesthetic problems in which he has always been interested, but now more than ever "an exploration and adventure into the previously unseen."

 In attempting to introduce a visual experience that has not been experienced before, Roth paints in many different ways and from many different angles, sometimes in one color, sometimes in many colors. Colors blend, space appears and curves, movement happens - always in a deliberate dynamic that is optically real. A surface and space are "found" through the very act of painting. The previously "invisible" abstract motif emerges simultaneously - is revealed-- with the artist's execution of it. "This motif is really what the new work is about," says Roth.

The Interference Color Paintings exhibition at Moderne Gallery will consist of mostly square paintings, from 3' x 3' to as large as 8' x 8' - on canvas, plexiglas, masonite and string. There will also be a group of smaller, much earlier works that exhibit the genesis of Roth's aesthetic.

The Roth exhibition is a natural outgrowth of Robert Aibel's interest in presenting significant 20th and 21st century decorative arts, in all forms, and is an important development in the leadership role of Moderne Gallery in the art world.

Moderne Gallery is renowned for showing Art Deco and the work of famed studio craft artists, especially George Nakashima, Mira Nakashima, Wharton Esherick, Wendell Castle, Sam Maloof, David Ebner, Michael Coffer, Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, Ed Moulthroup, and Bob Stocksdale, among others.

Aibel has long been an admirer of David Roth and has been showing his vintage works from the 1960's -80's for several years. In 2001 Moderne Gallery presented The Constructed Canvas: String Paintings by David Roth. The Gallery was the first to feature the re-emergence of Roth's most famous work-- his string paintings from 1970-1984. These pieces, which represent his most fully-realized vision of that time, earned him success as well as the attention and respect of the New York art world.

After a hiatus in exhibiting his work (after the closing of the Robert Elkon Gallery), many of Roth's 1960's-80's works were shown in various galleries in New York City between 1998-2001. These included a 2001 exhibition of graphite works and drawings at the Liz O'Brien Gallery, in addition to the show of his string paintings at Moderne Gallery.

Born in New York City in 1942, David Roth currently resides in Sharon, CT. He studied with Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Eugene Dana, Misch Kohn and Richard Koppe at the Institute of Design (The New Bauhaus), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). In 1963 he performed in Claus Oldenburg's Happening "Gayety."

From the mid-1960's through the mid-1980's, Roth was extremely productive and influential. He was invited frequently for group shows and one-man shows in Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Boston, Buffalo and New York, including the prestigious Robert Elkon Gallery in New York City, which represented him.

Roth's works are in numerous museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Newark Museum of Art, the Albright Knox Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Teheran, Iran (a gift from Nelson Rockefeller) as well as corporate and private collections. Corporate commissions include paintings for Johnson & Johnson, Coopers & Lybrand, IBM, Phillip Morris and SmithKline Philadelphia. In the 1960's he designed a series of Poster Poems with Alan Ginsburg, Robert Creeley, Michael McClure, Robert Olson and Louis Zukofsky. Roth's original works have been available over the years at several galleries, from New York to Los Angeles, from Paris to Stockholm. Various publishers have issued over 60 editions of his prints. 

Moderne Gallery is best known for "discovering" and presenting fine studio craft artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, and is internationally renowned for its high quality, vintage 20th century furniture, lighting and accessories. More than 16,000 square feet on four floors of its historic "warehouse" building in the Old City section of Philadelphia are filled with an extensive inventory - from French and American Art Deco and French 1940's - 1950's to exclusive Wharton Esherick pieces, and the best selection of 1950's-1980's work of George Nakashima.

Moderne Gallery is located at 111 N. Third Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 215-923-8536 or www.modernegallery.com. Owner/director: Robert Aibel

Hours: 11 am to 6 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, and by appointment.