a revelatory tunneling-in-and-never-coming-out peril


Brooklyn-based David Opdyke (born in 1969 in Schenectady, right around the time that upstate New York manufacturing township began precipitously downsizing its industrial base) first studied industrial design at the University of Cincinnati, but soon gave that up (“Too dry, too much like algebra”) for painting, which, so he says, he subsequently gave up as well because, “Painting was too open-ended, you could tunnel into a canvas and never come out.” Wood and nail and hammer, he avers, are “more grounded, there are only so many ways you can put things together.” Though to watch him do so, across a masterful series of recent shows at Roebling Hall and the BravinLee gallery in New York’s Chelsea district, one begins to wonder whether here, too, the young Brooklyn-based artist isn’t still facing a certain pronounced tunneling-in-and-never-coming-out peril. For the gallery-goer, on the other hand, the attendant sense of vertigo, simultaneously harrowing and delicious, has been well-nigh revelatory.

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