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David Aguirre: Los días

June 28 June 30

Lunes, día de luna (2024), oil on canvas, 72″ x 84″

Opening reception: Friday, June 28, 6 – 9pm
Open hours: Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30, 12 – 6pm

David Isaac Aguirre (b.1992, Fresno, CA) is an artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. David earned a bachelor of arts degree from California State University, Fresno in 2014 and a master of fine arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts in 2016. Their work has been shown in Los Angeles at the Ace Hotel, Panel, Human Resources, and at CalArts.

This exhibition comprises seven paintings commemorating the days of the week.

Los días began many years ago, on a walk of unknown duration, aim, or physical destination. David Aguirre was cultivating a different kind of practice then, one that revolved around wandering: he would tread aimlessly between unmarked points, get lost on purpose, scatterplot his way back home. Often, like the wandering poets and philosophers-on-foot that came before, these walks were a pretext for exhaustive studies or more rigorous exercises in perception: the artist would embed himself among the warm brown crags and wild sages of the California coast simply to observe interchanges of light, from dawn until dusk. Consciously, graciously, he did what monks do — mastering the meditations of holding and letting go. David met and released many tentative mornings and stone-cut slants of noon. He basked in golden hours and passed through lonelier thresholds into the gloaming. Even after nightfall, David remained to do more granular work, digging out only the quietest and most refined notes of black and blue.

The works owe their sophistication to the twin engines of David’s practice: short term maximalist additive processes and protracted editorial reductions. He indulges compositional overgrowths in anticipation of the eventual slash and burn, eager, later, to recover connections between dozens of subterranean paintings. David dredges up marks that are in some breaths delicate metallurgical chain links, in others blood cells freighted with oxygen, or a weeping coagulation of platelets. A cluster of lily pads and jellyfish might emerge from the bottom of an expanse of water. In one particularly wine-dark composition, David’s familiar hashed ovals reposition themselves as muddy stars or a crowd of moons, suspended in a fused sky-sea. 

There is a mysterious presence to these years-long paintings about days, as if something ancient lives between the compressions of time and space. While he revels in the energetic vectors and unexpected synchronicities of his underpaintings, David manages to move within the frame in the absence of a dominant underpinning. An expert in deferral, he constantly wavers between firm establishments of ground. Viewing begins to feel like floating, and in the course of following each construction of light, the eye is coaxed into weightlessness. Colors become moody in real-time, proponents of a changing condition rather than a static terrain. The painting grows nostalgic remembering itself: every gesture is diaristic, resting on its former lives and contexts. It’s difficult not to be swayed by their collective psychology.

As a markmaker, David is patient, tolerant, generous. To be in the company of his paintings is to travel somewhere that couldn’t possibly exist, but you can stay there as long as you’d like. Each heavily reworked surface is an intimate excavation site—a crystallized formation of many-places, many-times, many-feelings. In the end, David clings to the continuum, the slipstream, the eddy and the whirl. He doesn’t often know how a painting will end, but he always catches the precise moment it is finished speaking: sometimes mid-sentence, or caught whispering in a close corridor, the painting suddenly unburdens its heart. 

– Martina Onyemaechi