28th May – 26th June 2021
From May 28 to Jun 26, 2021, we will show American artist TM Davy ( *1980 ) for the second time in a solo exhibition titled "Fire Island".
Fire Island, a coastal barrier island east of New York City, lends its name and spirit to TM Davy's most recent body of work. The island has been a haven for many LGBTQ+ artists during the hot summer months in New York, and TM Davy's delicate oil paintings encapsulate the transcendent experience of that communion. Whereas the portraits in his first solo exhibition with us in 2018 had lighted figures in darkened spaces, the works from this exhibition emanate bright colors and solar gradients across both body and place. Teal-blue waters, luminous skies, and colorful dusks define the mood of the paintings and carry a golden feeling between lovers and friends.
In TM Davy's intimate portraits, the viewer enters a dialogue with the portrayed, who may be seen in a vulnerable moment. The feeling of closeness is evident in each painting. The artist often depicts friends, fellow artists, his husband, and other chosen family. TM Davy provides his figures with space to express themselves freely. Whether it is the bright scorching of the midday sun or the softer shine of the disappearing light surrounding the figure and reflecting on their skin, TM Davy's depictions enhance the mood and feeling of the portrayed at that exact moment. The smaller formats allow the viewer to come closer and linger in front of the works.
The specific feeling the artist captures in his portraits is also apparent in his larger paintings. In "Not heat flames up and consumes" the artist references a poem by Walt Whitman of the same name, in which the lyrical subject compares his love and desire to the forces of nature like the sea waves or the summer air. In this painting, a sunset vibrates mystically behind a naked companion entering the sea. The reflecting water and crashing waves move in a chromatic game of painterly wonder, contrasting the softness of the young man's shadows before the pulsing glow of the sky.
The interplay of light, water, and body is painted in ecstatic and sensitive touches, expressing the magical beauty of phenomena at play. With precise brushstrokes, TM Davy encapsulates the essence of the moment that transcends into the realm of connective freedom. His works are set in queer intimacy and embody quiet moments of joy, love, and life. Away from the busy city life, the paintings of "Fire Island" work as a refuge for the viewer, much like the actual island itself.
TM Davy was born in 1980 in New York City, US, where he lives and works today. He studied at the School of Visual Arts New York City, where he also teaches. TM Davy can be seen in the group exhibition and I will wear you in my heart of heart at The FLAG Art Foundation in New York, US until Aug 13, 2021, and in the upcoming group exhibition Any distance between us at the RISD Museum in Providence, US from Jul 13, 2021, until Mar 13, 2022. Previous group exhibitions include Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall, Brooklyn Museum, US, in 2019; The Lure of The Dark - Contemporary Painters Conjure The Night, MASS MoCA, North Adams, US, 2018; Burning Down the House: The 10th Gwangju Biennale, in collaboration with AA Bronson’s "House of Shame", Gwangju, KR, 2014; No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern, London, UK, 2010.