The paintings are for sure tromp l'oeil in that they fool the eye. Perhaps for some this is where they stop and these individuals then marginalize the work. They put it in their nice little nook of art ism's and leave it at that. But what I am finding is that the paintings have something different. It's that not only is your eye tricked but your entire set of sensory nodes ends up being tricked. One tends to want to know why and how it is possible for something so dumb and seemingly simple as a piece of tape can challenge your understanding of reality. The reality I am painting to is one that we feel as much as one that we see. gravity, weight, scale, light and space are all brought into the experience one is having when looking at these works.
David Hollowell's work exhibits clearly his exacting technique, a kind of Pointillism and photorealism, and his concern with illusion and the nature of pictorial space. Among the many impressive and different facets of this body of work is Hollowell's three-pronged treatment of a single image. By executing a drawing, a monochrome and a painting of the same image, the artist is literally breaking his subject matter down in front of our eyes. It is clear that Hollowell is not merely showing us his process; on the contrary, the artist is desperate not to prompt any narrative between the three, rather to make the viewer ponder the dilemmas that the artist is working through. Is there a hierarchy between the three treatments? Is one better than another? Does one medium clearly work better than another? These questions are Hollowell's concerns, and are what motivates the artist to go through the agonizing process of exacting the same image three times over.
In the words of Wayne Theibaud, an admirer of the artist's work, "David Hollowell's work is pretty spectactular. The thing I admire in his work is its ambition, the interesting problems he sets for himself. He takes on really complex painterly issues." Hollowell is self-described as "too bull-headed" to take short cuts while working, and this steadfast dedication is evident in the complex and engaging experience his paintings create for their viewers.
David Hollowell received his masters in painting at Yale University and is presently Professor of Art at the University of California, Davis. He has won the Westaf Drawing Award and a painting fellowship from the Roswell Museum. He has also won many other awards and has shown at numerous museums throughout the country.
John Natsoulas Center for the Arts
University of California at Davis
"When I first saw Dave's work, including several intricately finished drawings, in 1984, he was a candidate to become a member of our faculty of artists at Davis. The distinguished jury that invited him to join them, and to stay, included Robert Arneson, Roy de Forest, Manuel Neri, Roland Peterson, and Wayne Thiebaud, among others. As an art historian, I immediately saw, and David quickly concurred, that he drew on a complex background of art historical imagery and method. His is the way of a recent generation of eclectic post- Modernist artists, who participate in the democratization of masterpieces and their means from every period and region of art, combining them with contemporary imagery and meanings."
- Seymour Howard, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
born 1951 Hornell, NY
1973 BFA Ithaca College, NY
1976 MFA Yale University New Haven, CT
Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock
Roswell Museum and Art Center, NM
Flint Institute of Arts, MI
Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY
Norton Museum, West Palm Beach, FL
Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA
University of California at Davis
Washington Post, August 11, 2013
by Mark Jenkins
David Hollowell is based in California, but he's reasonably well known in Washington, where he's shown for three decades at Jane Haslem Gallery. But the realist painter has reinvented himself, as can be seen in the current exhibition "the mind/ the line/ the image." He's still a realist of sorts, but his newer work uses shading, modeling and perspective to depict perfected forms at play. In "Floating Balls," a pencil drawing, spheres levitate oer a textured square, suggesting the Platonic ideal of a billiards table. Tendered in rusty shades of charcoal, "Pipes and Floating Squares" produces such a strong illusion of depth as to appear almost sculptural. The pair of "Concave and "Convex," with their circles and shadows illustrate their titles with immaculate simplicity.
David Hollowell, Howard, Seymour. Published by John Natsoulas Press, Davis, CA, 1993. 95 Pages.
David Hollowell, essay by John D. O'Hern. Published by Tatistcheff & Company, Inc and the Arnot Art Museum, New York, 1996.
David Hollowell, foreword by Jane N. Haslem. Published by Haslem Fine Arts, Inc., Washington DC, 1986. 10 pages with 16 illustrations.