David Reedis one of America's best painters. Having figured out how to infuse art's mosttraditional practice with an arm-shot of the here and now, Reed's paintingshave updated-in the manner of sea-changers Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol-apractice many thought deader than Latin. A cinephile and pop-culture junkieinspired by computer screens and Miami Vice pastels, Reed has during the pasttwo decades formulated something fundamental. Shinier, brighter and more substantivethan the work of most artists of his or any other recent generation, Reed'sCinemaScope abstractions perch neatly atop America's layered heap of culturalbugaboos: They concern sex without depicting people, observe carefully our growingdependence on technology and the media, and turn out to be about painting asmuch as anything Caravaggio or de Kooning ever did. If art, as Ezra Pound declaredmore than half a century ago, is "news that stays news," David Reedappears to have got a jump on everyone for the look of painting in the nextcentury.
This summer,Reed's first retrospective exhibition, originally organized by the Museum ofContemporary Art, San Diego, has come to Long Island City's P.S. 1 ContemporaryArt Center. Last year, as the MOCA San Diego exhibition kicked off its yearlongrun, Reed's parents finally told their friends that their son is an artist.