Bailin Studio


Bailin Studio

He left a paper trail…

About the Artist

DAVID BAILIN is an artist working primarily in drawing. He received his MA from Hunter College in New York and his BFA at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has received fellowship awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the NEA / Mid-American Arts Alliance as well as the Arkansas Art Council. Bailin was given a solo exhibition in 2000 at the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock and at the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2009. His work has been acquired by a number of public institutions including the Arkansas Art Center Foundation Collection in Little Rock, and the National Jewish Museum in Washington D.C. Bailin has received critical reviews in ARTnews, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, the Oxford American Magazine, Art Ltd and other periodicals, and was the subject of a 2008 documentary entitled “Charcoal Lines.” His work is included in the fourth edition of Drawing Essentials by Deborah Rockman, published in 2020 by the Oxford University Press. The 2020 Drawing Discourse 11th Annual exhibition includes two drawings from Bailin’s Erasing series. He was selected by the Arkansas Times weekly as one of Arkansas’ Visionaries in 2014. In 2014 he participated in the 56th Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Art Center and received the prestigious Grand Award.

Bailin is represented by Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Seattle, WA (formerly Los Angeles, 1982 - 2015), and M2 Gallery, Little Rock, AR. David Bailin currently lives and works in Wellfleet, MA.

View resume

Ghosts 2017 +

During the Covid Pandemic, I relocated across the country. As anyone who has sorted, packed, and thrown away 40+ years of accumulation, the move was mentally and physically exhausting. When I drew I drew in my small sketchbook and, focused, appropriately, on images of floods, fires, and loss.

— David Bailin • 2021

Fire Cycle • 2019 – 2020

After several years working on the large-scale Erasing Series, I'm drawing small. The poem, The Fire Cycle, by Zachary Schomburg from his book Scary, No Scary, published by Black Ocean Press, 2009, inspired me with so many visual ideas of solicitude and sublime immolation that I couldn't resist exploring his brilliant vision.

The Erasing • 2015 – 2019, 2021 +

In his artist statement about his current drawing series, "The Erasing," Bailin, 62, writes: "As an artist who witnessed the waning of my father’s personhood through the dissolution of his memory, I wrestled with how to convey the devastating personal and human experience of memory loss without relying on visual clichés." The answer to that question is revealed in the creative process of the artworks of "The Erasing": draw, erase part of the drawing, repeat, repeat, repeat.

— Ellis Widner • Into The Void • 2017

The Last • 2015

From his early Holocaust drawings,[…] to his series of Biblical scenes set in the midcentury, to today's erasings, works that reference the loss of memory and personality, Bailin's narratives offer us a way to think about the human condition. We can be cruel, we can be banal, and eventually we aren't anymore.

— Leslie Newell Peacock • Bailin. Criswell. Peters • 2015

Dreams & Disasters • 2013 - 2015

The drawings in [this series] are ephemeral and dreamlike, […] and the figures and settings emerge out of Bailin’s marks—marks of abstraction, gesture, texture, and motion—as if surfacing within one’s consciousness out of white noise. […] His works skirt the edge of abstraction...

— Christopher Michno • Exhibition Review • art ltd, 2014

C • 2011 - 2012

Bailin … presents incidents that mark a transition in ordinary lives–the ordinary lives of what seem to age minor captains of industry or their mid-level subordinates–to something outside the ordinary. Drawn in charcoal (and coffee!) on large sheets of paper, Bailin’s rough-hewn but beautifully detailed pictures present us with men in crisis–that is, men who seem to have grasped that their crises have overcome them and require resistance or escape.

— Peter Frank • Haiku Reviews •, 2012

Paper Trails • 2005 - 2011

[Bailin's] interiors and landscapes made since 2001 are as likely to resonate with texts by Eco or Borges as with anonymous images plucked from old magazines and newspapers. […] Bailin approaches each blank page as if a theatrical space to be occupied, activated. Each sheet becomes the site of a performance—Bailin’s own gestural charcoal dance and his character’s parallel search for a place, a form, a moment of reprieve.

— Leah Ollman • Catalog Essay • 2008

Drawings • 1999 - 2007

…Bailin's anonymous but expressive figures interact directly with the elements, often at some peril to themselves. For all their mystery and even ominous surreality there is an antic spirit to these drawings. In fact, in more than a few of his rough-hewn but detail charcoals Bailin sets up man (and woman) as the fall guy for nature's own slapstick brand of humors.

— Peter Frank, LA Weekly, 12/27/2002-1/2/2003

Minyan & Midrash Series [1991-1999] And Other Biblical Images

Bailin's drawings … remain complex and not easily deciphered.…In the end, his works are contemporary: the new context he provides for these psychologically—charged fragments, juxtaposed one against the other, reflects one of the major problems of modern life—the anxieties that arise from the stream of highly-charged emotional situations that arise daily, the desire for the simple life, and the complexity of the questions that arise when one is finally alone.

— Ruth Pasquine • In Search of a Hero • 2004

Theater & Performance • 1977 - 1983

I moved to New York in the summer of 1976 and I soon came to realize that narrative art in the conceptual 1970s was problematic. It was then inevitable that I turn my painting ideas into solo performance pieces and theater productions. Links to both my performance art and Abreaction Theater below.

— David Bailin, 1/13/2022

Performance Art

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