Canadian, b. 1946
N.Y. DAKOTA, 1975
acrylic on canvas
198.9 x 198.9 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with the Woods-Harris Trust Fund No. 1
Typical of David Craven’s arabesque paintings from the mid-1970s, N.Y. Dakota is composed of repeating geometric and organic patterns, derived from Islamic decorative forms often found on the walls of mosques. An arabesque is an infinite pattern that extends beyond the visible material world and connotes a metaphysical realm. Also at play in this canvas is the act of painting itself. Concentrating on the movement of the paint, this work documents the artist’s gestures as he pushed and pulled paint across the canvas with a scraper. Lines move from the centre of each work out to the edges, an effect that implies a flow of action into the viewer’s space. The preferential use of a restricted black and white palette is a means of uniting the acts of drawing and painting.