Les Yeux du Monde is excited to present for the first show of the fall season, David Summers: Out of the Light into the Light. This show will feature the latest dazzling still life paintings of art historian, critic, philosopher, and painter David Summers. As the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Art Theory and Italian Renaissance Art at the University of Virginia from 1981 to 2015, he published many books and scholarly articles including "Michelangelo and the Language of Art" (1981) and "The Judgment of Sense" (1987). His concerns and contributions have been much more wide-ranging than Renaissance art and current theory, amounting to none other than a re-reading and re-writing of the way art history has been done since its inception, to be much more inclusive of all traditions—a World Art History laid out in great detail in his internationally influential book, "Real Spaces: World Art History and the Rise of Western Modernism" (2003). Drawing from this book, he wrote the manifesto“To a Museum of World Art” for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, arguing that art and its history crosses all boundaries of time and nationality to elucidate our shared humanity. In addition to his scholarly concerns and books, most recently "Vision, Reflection and Desire in Western Painting" (2007) and his current endeavor, "Pathos, Sympathy and Empathy in Art," Summers has always painted and he is just as stellar in his handling of concept through paint as he is through words.
Summers writes, "I have spent my whole life as a painter trying to paint light. I came to understand Cezanne (from whom it seemed to me I took my bearings) to have made paintings that in some sense we do not look into, as if their forms were just more things we see. Instead, paintings are themselves fields of living light… and out of their light beautiful things may appear. Beauty has become a kind of B-word, avoided in favor of supposedly more truthful dreariness and ugliness. But light is beautiful, and, as a great philosopher said, if the world is in fact one of suffering, our obligation is not to add to the general malaise." In this same spirit Summers offers his “Happy Still Life” series, works that are ebullient, playful and colorful, abounding in layers of imagery, light and hidden meanings. His sense of humor and great empathy for all things human and hopeful infuse his art with lasting brilliance and strength.