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David Rudolph
Abbate Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
by Iris McLister

David Rudolph, "Santa Fe Descending a Staircase," acrylic on canvas, 52 x 42”.

Continuing through December 15, 2013

David Rudolph credits his stocky, blocky and often playful multimedia arts practice to the powers of imagination. For Rudolph, who initially made non-objective sculpture, the process from abstraction to figuration was unforeseen and gradual. He writes “I would carve into … materials without knowing what I was creating and something profound would always emerge.” "Visual Reports from the Digital Universe" showcases sculpture along with a selection of paintings that have decidedly three-dimensional elements; the combination of these disparate genres is especially intriguing because Rudolph manages to make them seamlessly compatible.

Many of the cast stone sculptures take the form of animals. A bright red fox belies cubist influences, with its jaunty, angular haunches and square muzzle. A stately cat with a sly smile is painted pewter, a hue which marvelously accentuated its futuristic, constructivist lines. Rudolph’s paintings are finely crafted and indicative of a busy, curious mind. "Santa Fe Descending a Staircase" is a send-up of Duchamp that ends up being a wholly different take on cubism. The vertical canvas is divided into sky and buildings, but nothing is exactly what it seems: the clouds are cartoonish, Mario-Brothers-slabs of cream and white, sliced through with shafts of gold light. The cluster of sun-soaked adobes, interspersed with chunks of bright green plants, indicates that Rudolph not only adores the city he lives in, but wants to share the marvel of its singular beauty with his viewers.

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