When walking into John Daily’s new exhibition at Galleri Duerr, one might think they have stumbled into a group exhibition. Intricate colorfields with minimalistic overtones, created through hidden logic and obsessive precision, are juxtaposed with foreboding surrealistic dreamscapes. This exhibition spans over ten years of artistic production, and the approaches and aesthetics metamorphose considerably. Nevertheless, certain elements unite this collection, such as luminescent atmospheres, meticulous detail, a frequent manipulation of dichotomies, and a sophisticated use of color.
In the earliest work represented, ”Complexity”, Daily has worked with an abstract systems approach based on interdependancy. Multiple layers of pattern are united through intricate and often submerged interactions under a minimalistic veneer. Conventional artistic approaches are turned on their head and chaos emerges from order, a tribute to the modern realizations of the science of complexity.
While visually resembling its predecessor, the methodology behind the next series, ”Shifted/Blended”, is entirely different. Daily has pushed abstraction to its furthest limits, where by using a shifting perspective, complicated but specific drawings of an object (a microscope) have distorted it beyond recognition. The various elements of the object are then translated into separate colors, which are blended in correspondance with the overlapping of the drawing, resulting in rich colorfield paintings which disguise their reality-based origins.
The delicate ”Life-Science” drawings suggest medical and biological drawings from the pre-photographic era. However, these are sole imaginary inventions. The work ”What Is the Difference Between Your First Breath and Your Last Breath” (from the What Is Not Life series) presents a bridge between Daily’s organic drawings and the lineality of many of his paintings. This work was created using a novel technique in which plywood is charred using flame or a soldering iron, with gold leaf and red acrylic applied afterwards. This experiment led Daily to the ”Traces” series, which combines the linear approach with a painterly aesthetic. Graceful lines flow about over heavily textured surfaces, seducing the viewer in a perpetual visual dance.
In the ”Scapes” series, Daily is now working almost entirely intuitively. Ideas have fallen away, and emotions have taken over, allowing the viewer to drift within imaginary worlds recognizable only in dreams and fantasy. In these paintings, Daily is working loosely and uninhibitedly, in stark contrast with the previous works. Lastly, the ”Infinite Scale of Carnality” series takes us where fears and fascinations are intertwined. The vastness of the landscapes has given way to close-up, almost threatening images, surrealistic manifestations of environments unsuitable for human comfort.
In the first of two exhibitions, Galleri Duerr is proud to introduce a painter who is fascinated by the limitless possibilies of painting. John Daily, born 1974, studied at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and later graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1999. He has since then participated in numerous exhibitions. Daily is now living in Stockholm, where he has been represented at Liljevalchs vårsalong 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2009 Daily was awarded the Örebro OpenART Award.