David Hytone’s artwork straddles the line between abstraction and representation. Constructed from an improvisational blend of painting and collage, the work explores the interstice between specificity and approximation, particularly how this interstice informs our perception of the world around us and the ways in which memory plays in that intervening space.
The Elephant and The Albatross continues Hytone’s examination of human frailty and the mechanisms that we employ to cope and compensate for our failings - imagined and otherwise. Using themes of theatre and still-life as artificial constructs for his exploration, the artist considers the friction that occurs between the veneers of projection, facade and the actuality of things. “Contrivances are performed on a societal level, and it is the nature of people, as individuals and societies, to constantly build and rebuild monuments to our existence, like carapaces around us, out of the ill-fitting remnants of our past coupled with the newfound symbols of our uncertain futures.” By using themes that rely heavily on accepted tropes, Hytone reflects on the absurdity of human endeavor in an impermanent world and the ways in which we often buy into representations of some idealized truth.
Hytone’s approaches in the studio revolve around “off-canvas” processes: glass-plate paint transfer, crude mono-print techniques, and the creation of myriad types of painted paper that are manipulated and cut to form prior to application to the surface of the piece. His techniques rely upon activities of transference and obfuscation, resulting in imagery that is compromised or incomplete, blending situational intentionality with generic cross-pollination. Repetition and the re-occurrence of patterns and thematic elements within a given composition and from piece to piece reference the sensory shorthand he believes we employ to navigate our surroundings and imprint our experiences onto memory. Ultimately, these formal processes are the conduit to his conceptual investigations into perception and memory, implicitly informing the conceptual thrust of the work rather than being the product of the reverse. Of his practice, Hytone has said: “When I enter the studio, I do not so much begin with an idea as endeavor to arrive at one. Allowing the process to lead my inquiries, as opposed to those inquiries driving my process is integral to keeping the work honest, revelatory and moving forward.”
David Hytone received his BFA in Fine Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design after studying briefly at the Osaka University of Arts in Osaka, Japan. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Seattle, Oakland, Minneapolis, Portland, Tulsa, and his home town of Des Moines, Iowa. His work is included in numerous private and corporate collections including Capital One, Swedish hospitals, Hilton and the permanent collection of King County, WA. A finalist for the 2018 Neddy Award in Painting, David will present a solo exhibition at Linda Hodges Gallery in Seattle in 2019.