Studio: 341 Robinson St, Basalt, CO 81621
Office: 701 E Valley Rd, Suite 201, Basalt, CO 81621
William Havu Gallery
1040 Cherokee Street, Denver Colorado
Born in Port Chester, NY 1954
Lives in Carbondale, CO
2017 M.F.A. candidate, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT
1980 M. Arch. Columbia University, New York, NY
1979 William Kinne Memorial Travelling Fellowship,
1976 B. A. Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
Studio Art, Highest Honors
Exhibitions and Events
Vermont College of Fine Arts Exhibition, Montpelier, VT
Aspen Chapel Gallery, Aspen CO
William Havu Gallery, Denver, CO
Aspen Chapel Gallery, Aspen, CO
Painting Class: “Making Landscape Painting Relevant”, May 17-18, Wyly Community Art Center, Basalt, CO,
Art Talk: “What Elevates Landscape Painting From Picture to Art?”, May 9, Wyly Community Art Center, Basalt, CO
Quintenz Gallery with David Floria: “David Warner: Mountain, Woods, Water”, February, Aspen, CO
Pensacola Museum of Art: “David Warner: Mountain, Stream, Shore”, Pensacola, FL
Pascal Gallery: Stammen, “Warner, Williams: A Matter of Nature”, Group Exhibition, Rockport, ME
Red Brick Arts Center: “Fresh Aire,” Group Exhibition, Aspen, CO
Quintenz Gallery: Recent Work, Aspen, CO
Aspen Chapel Gallery: “Small Wonders,” Group Exhibition, Aspen, CO
Aspen Chapel Gallery: “Sublime,” Group Exhibition, Aspen, CO
Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts: “Inspired to Heal,” Group Exhibition, Glenwood Springs, CO
Interview with Pensacola Museum of Art September 2013
PMA: How long have you been painting?
DW: I’ve been an artist for about 15 years. I was an art and physics major in college but my specialty was drawing. In architecture, I kept drawing and rendering. I think you can see a lot of that [drawing] in my painting. Later, I wanted to get more density, pigment, and color so I started using pastels, then finally got into painting. Two years ago I realized it was difficult to progress unless I was painting more. I wanted to accomplish that and think of myself as a full-time painter, and that’s when I put together this body of work. My grandfather had been an architect, but he also did beautiful landscape pastels, and that made an impression on me. I always thought I would be an artist too. I don’t think of myself as just an architect who paints. Corbusier’s paintings, for example, are very tied into his architecture, but I don’t have architectural elements in paintings.
PMA: What drew you to painting landscapes?
DW: I’ve always had the opportunity to be in places where the landscape and environment was very enjoyable. When I started thinking about painting it was those images that came to mind, and it was what I was drawn to myself. I spend summers and winters in Vermont and Maine, and I live in Colorado. Those are very special places to me. I’m not actually an avid outdoors person, though I enjoy the beach and skiing.
PMA: Why are there no objects in your paintings?
DW: There could be, I don’t have a prohibition on them. Right now I’m working on just the landscapes, but objects might appear in the future. I’ve seen other painters that have added barns and buildings, and I’m trying to figure out how to do that without being sentimental. It’s one thing to show nature in its raw state because that is what it is, and it’s another to have the idealized vision of the farmhouse, or whatever—I’m still debating how to do that without being very sentimental about it. The landscape is a simple solution to timelessness. I’m thinking of that object being something like where we go into and tame nature, like the Hoover Dam, but not making it a political statement. It’s a trap, the moment you do that people want to know if it’s a comment on human intervention on the landscape. I’m not trying to start that message.
PMA: Talk a little bit about your technique.
DW: I love the feeling of expression through the brushstrokes and the idea that you see that moment [of the brushstroke]. That’s always an important component of the way I work, and that comes directly out of drawing. Part of the transformation for me is to have those brushstrokes that can take on an abstract pattern, which show the hand of the artist. Then you step away and they start to blend together. You can see complementary colors side by side, and yet when you step back they blend and you get a different reading. It’s very important to be able to look at a painting and stay in it—to look at it at different levels. That is what makes it interesting. The brushstrokes are like a written language. The first reading is of simple brushstrokes, but then you move back and see that it’s a shadow or the edge of a rock, or it gives a feeling of dimension. All of a sudden there is a transformation, and it starts a dialogue. The idea is that the patterning and their direction and the color can have so many different readings. There’s an emotion in there.
PMA: What’s your emotion while painting?
DW: You can’t really peg it on one emotion—the viewer can apply their own emotion. The most immediate answer for me is what the plein air painters were feeling: they were out there doing it with one shot. It’s done in the moment as almost a statement at that time. You sort of feel a need to finish it, like I need to get this down because it only exists at that moment. Velasquez was the first to started painting with the brushstrokes that had a meaning to them, and then Whistler and Turner as well. I also love Color Field painting. It’s important that it [the painting] takes on that meaning as a graphic device and color field device.
PMA: In what artists do you find inspiration?
DW: The “Group of 7” and Tom Thomson, not only for the way they painted—particularly Thomson, but their validation of going out in the landscape and coming back with something very powerful. They validated that landscape is a powerful subject on its own, and that you do need to take it beyond the sentimental. “Pretty picture” landscape doesn’t mean anything, it has to accomplish more. Also Mid-century painters like Edgar Payne and Maynard Dixon. Contemporary artists: Neil Welliver, Russell Chatham, Wolf Khan. I really appreciate Diebenkorn, Hockney, and Twombly. I like how Georgia O’Keeffe is able to bring feeling into her paintings and it’s not just about the image; the landscape takes on a different meaning.