Daan van Golden

Composition with blue square . 1964

+ Greene Naftali

In its own manner, van Golden's art ties into the longstanding tradition of Dutch painting with its optical precision and patient distillation of reality into image. His strict, non-inventive imagery and studied magnifications prioritize close observation over imaginative invention as he indexes and enhances what would be fleetingly glimpsed aspects of art and life. This refocusing of the real poses an almost utopian proposition in art's reflective mediation, not unlike the canvases of other Dutch masters, from Vermeer to Mondrian.
In the early 60's van Golden developed a painting style based on appropriation. He began by using motifs derived from quotidian objects, such as decorative paper and fabrics, and subsequently turned to themes from the history of art. These images and forms are then painted with an exacting precision, achieving an eccentrically flawless surface. While formally simple, these translations enact a broad range of artistic strategies--pop and photorealism, structural and conceptual art, minimalism and abstraction--without belonging entirely to any. Along with the paintings themselves, van Golden has often considered his own relationship to his painting practice more broadly, both by presenting his paintings in unusual installations or by not producing paintings at all--instead devoting years at a time to photographing his daughter.
Greene Naftali

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