Painting a picture of art and architecture – Knight Foundation

Painting a picture of art and architecture

Julie Davidow’s paintings are getting some much-deserved attention at Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts Gallery, with the solo exhibit “archiTECTONICS.” Davidow’s handsome and smart art works always add to the tapestry of Miami’s scene wherever they are found.

At Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts Gallery, the new paintings revolve around an interesting intersection in contemporary art these days — the relationship between the fabulous designs of new museums and the art within them. Miami should know this process well, while watching MAM build both a serious collection and erect the Herzog & de Meuron, 200,000 square-foot-structure on the Bay. None of this, of course, is blatantly obvious in Davidow’s latest series. Employing materials such as gesso — a white, chalky substance — chrome paint and enamel, Davidow creates canvases that appear both minimal and detailed, an interesting juxtaposition. Here she is taking particular elements in the design of new museums, then focusing in and in a sense framing that aspect. Or, as she describes it, she “samples” bits and pieces, like is done in music. In fact, the art turns out to be very musical. “From an image I use of a building or of another artist’s work,” explains Davidow, “I reduce it to the essential elements that reference its physical structure or composition. This creates the rhythm, beat or geometry of the building or artwork.”

Some of the museums that Davidow sampled include the Denver Art Museum, the Fort Worth Museum of Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum, all designed by star architects.

However, even if you don’t follow the thread of the architectural basis to these works, they are lovely in style and composition, and it’s great to see them together in one place in a solo exhibit. On a side note, Davidow has added to Miami’s cultural growth in another way, as the co-author of “Miami Contemporary Artists,” the most comprehensive survey of Miami’s current art scene to date.

“archiTECTONICS” runs through April 7 at the Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts Gallery, 2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami;