David Simpson (b.1928)
Red Arcs, 1966
Acrylic on canvas
49 x 54 inches
Public Auction, Washington D.C.
Property of the Richard A. Madlener Trust
Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, 1966
San Francisco Museum of Art, March 15 – April 23, 1967
California-born abstract painter David Simpson uses meticulous arrangements of color and form to elevate his meditatively abstract compositions. Simpson has said “I want my paintings to create space: to find room. I want them to create space without taking it, and to be contemplative in the process. Hence their apparent simplicity and openness.”
His stripe paintings were included in critic Clement Greenberg’s Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition, “Post Painterly Abstraction,” along with work by Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Ellsworth Kelly. Critic Kenneth Baker, speaking of a recent exhibition of David Simpson works in San Francisco, noted that “Simpson’s uncompromising abstractions may look almost as radical today as when he made them [in the 1970s.] He invites us to enjoy the materials of illusionism and its invitation of fantasy, without forgetting ourselves.”
For years, David Simpson was on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. He was amongst fifteen artists exhibited at the MOMA in 1963 in one of Dorothy Miller’s last exhibitions entitled “Americans”.
His works are found in numerous public and private collections around the world, including Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA; La Jolla Museum of Art, La Jolla, CA; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, Il; Museum of Contemporary Art (MART), Roverato, Italy; Museo di Arte Cantonale, Lugano, Switzerland; Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Trento, Italy; Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY; National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, DC.