Solo Show of Enamels on Canvas by David Tobey Challenges Rules for Mixing Artists’ Paints

  • One of David Tobey's paintings that will be featured in the Pleiades Exhibition April 19 - May 10, 2014.

    One of David Tobey's paintings that will be featured in the Pleiades Exhibition April 19 - May 10, 2014.

    David Tobey

    "Wet Paint", an exhibition of paintings by artist, musician and educator David Tobey is at Pleiades Gallery in New York April 19th through May 10th. The show consists of paintings created with different kinds of professional painting mediums and chemicals such as solvents and additives that have always been considered to be chemically incompatible with each other when applied wet to a surface. Tobey’s intent is to demonstrate that when careful mixed and manipulated, these elements can form detail in a painting that would normally be  impossible to produce using any other means. 

    Tobey has been active over the past 30+ years in exhibitions of his art mainly in New York City, Westchester County and Connecticut with dozens of one-man and group shows. His paintings and sculptures have been commented upon favorably by reviewers and editors of publications including Art in America, Art News Journal, Gallery & Studio magazine and others.
    The main body of his work since he started painting under the tutelage of his father, the late noted historical painter Alton S. Tobey (1914-2005) has been  abstract painting. In 2005 and ’06 he had a few exhibitions of pop–art paintings of  art appealing mainly to very young art lovers -- mainly for schools, children’s hospitals and other youth oriented venues -- and he created welded sculptures by recycling discarded steel with metal forms of his own creation. Some of these sculptures will also be in this exhibition.  The opening reception, on Saturday afternoon April 19th from 3 to 6 will feature complimentary refreshments and live music -- Tobey usually performs on violin with piano accompaniment at his openings.

    This new solo show, entitled “Wet Paint” evolved from a more detailed synthesis. It evolved from Tobey’s observation of the interaction of various chemicals in artist’s paints: flat paints, gloss enamels, aqueous and solvent-based pigments, paints’ base materials, pigment solvents and other additives that are considered technically incompatible with each other in the painting arts, and not capable fo being used wet together on any surface. After much experimentation and carefully measured manipulation he discovered and effected some very controlled painting techniques using these materials together in the creation of abstract works that display dynamic forms on canvas in ways that very possibly have never been seen before.

    Commenting on these paintings from his perspective as a professional musician, David says: “The ‘Imaginaries’ flow, drip and merge wet before your eyes. This greatly adds to their subconscious spontaneity and impact -- they move the viewer into an immediacy of reaction that  musical phrases also produce”.

    The techniques Tobey uses in the creation of these paintings dispute the claim that many ingredients in artists’ paints that have historically been considered incompatible and incapable of integration when wet on a common surface are no longer true. The paintings in this show are the proof.

    More information on the exhibition and about the artist and his multiple careers as a painter, sculptor, musician and educator can be found in his website at He can be contacted directly by email to david or by telephoning him at (914) 329-2581.  His solo show at Pleiades Gallery will run through May 10, 2014. Gallery hours are available by calling (646) 230-0056.


Pleiades Gallery
530 West 25th Street
4th Floor
New York, New York
Press Contact:
Joe Dolice
Public Relations for The Arts
P: 212-260-9240

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