Decoding the Works of David Donovan Jensen

by Bicycle Fine Art

Bicycle Fine Art is pleased to feature several paintings from David Donovan Jensen’s Hymn series, two of which are currently featured in the Profiles showroom at the New York Design Center. Focusing on varying elements in his paintings, David explores concepts such as color in his works. His painting entitled ‘Phthalo Hymn,’ highlights David’s experimentation with the vibrant phthalo pigment. Continuing with his Hymn series, David centers on the soothing sensation of this color, while also exploring its interaction with other tones of blues and greys. The textures in ‘Phthalo Hymn’ beautifully highlight the wood grains and patterns in furniture and serve to complement the overall conversation between artwork and interior spaces. David’s concern surrounding color and its qualities it can instill in a viewer further heightens the importance of the pigments and its capabilities through saturation and layering.

Based in Minneapolis, David’s surroundings serve as a source of inspiration of his works. His proximity to nature and the natural forces around him influence his artistic concepts. Though many of his works feature cooler tones of blues and greys, this painting, entitled ‘Pollen Night,’ introduces a yellow-ish, chartreuse hue. The title of this painting invites the viewer into a moment where one is caught in an evening pollen storm. The night setting is created by grey tones evoking moonlight, shrouded by the cooler tone of yellow representing natural elements such as pollen. This contrasting and distinct coloration adds an element of warmth to an open interior setting. ‘Pollen Night’s’ unique color scheme strikes the delicate balance between vivid and subtle, dynamic and receptive; works like ‘Pollen Night’ organically enrich the design around them and welcome the viewer to take part in the space.

Further building a narrative with his work, David culminates the relationship between color and titling with his painting ‘The Carpenter and the Avalanche’. This painting is considered the first in the Hymn series, yet bears an individual title, which adds to the complexity of the painting. While this work is connected with David’s larger ‘hymn’ portfolio, there is a unique dialogue between title and process. The concept of the carpenter is linked with the wood grain textures, achieved through David’s experimental method of painting on the wooden floors of his carriage home studio. While a carpenter is referenced materially, the idea of an avalanche is translated in the colors and mechanical process with which David paints. Snowy mountain terrain emerges out of his muted grey and light blue tones, and his use of a sanding tool to reveal hidden layers parallels the power of a rushing avalanche. ‘The Carpenter and the Avalanche’ channels both dynamism and tranquility, an emotionally compelling dichotomy David develops in all his works.

With all his paintings, David’s works serve as central conversation pieces that add vibrancy to interior spaces. The mimicked wood grain patterns complement natural and rustic furniture pieces while the designs from the textures embedded in the canvas provide visual interest, highlighting the unique layers of color.

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