David Urban, ‘Amplifier #7’, 2016, Corkin Gallery

About David Urban

One of the most celebrated Canadian painters of his generation, David Urban produces oil paintings that range in palette—from rich, vibrant color to grays, blacks, and earthy tones—and often occupy a space between abstraction and landscape. “I don’t make any distinction. For me there is just painting,” Urban has said. He draws elements from modernist painters including Piet Mondrian and Kasimir Malevich, and his thickly applied paint, painterly gestures, and use of geometric forms has prompted comparisons with Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Willem de Kooning, and Philip Guston. Urban’s earlier work typically featured fields of color intersected by ribbons of contrasting hue; more recently he has included figurative elements, such as a yellow kite and a “reccurring spheroid” which “conflates an eyeball with a skull,” as he describes. Sunno (2012), which is influenced by Urban’s fascination with music, comprises a rough rendering of an amplifier with lines bursting out of it toward red rectangles.

Canadian, b. 1966, Toronto, Canada, based in Toronto, Canada