STAGES: The Art of David Maxim



copies are still available.


Volume 1, Painting, constructed pictures and sculpture. This is NOT a catalogue raisonee by any means, but nevertheless provides a rounded view of the many aspects of Maxim's work in painting, constructions, constructed paintings, and drawings.


Volume 2 is devoted exclusively to graphic works on paper, and won the Eric Hofer Best Independently Published  Art Book Award for 2016.


Each book has more than 300 pages containing approximately 200 full color reproductions.  Essays by published art historian Hope Werness, Ph.D.; Heather Murray, Ph.D.; published San Francisco poet, Barbara Leff (And God Said..); London art writer, David Gleeson; artist Jane Culp; published poet and translator,

Erland Anderson; and art writer/general editor, Nicole Blunt.  David Maxim will also contribute an autobiographical essay.  


Both Volumes are hardbound (with dustjackets), and page measurements are approximately 12 x 10 inches.


Each volume is $75, and includes shipping  (tax charged to California residents is included).

Contact the artist at davidnmaxim@gmail.com for further information.

The following catalogs are all between 24 and 36 pages (Unseen Pictureshas 60 pages). They are available for 10.00 $US each, and  the price includes shipping costs within the United States and Canada.  Additional cost may be requested for shipment beyond these countries.














SF CHRONICLE, Saturday, May 12, 2012

review by Kenneth Baker




String Drag Diptych, 2006.  C. 12 x 36 x 4 inches



Maxim's moment: While San Francisco painter David Maxim continues to await the museum retrospective he deserves, Sandra Lee provides a congested synopsis of what it might encompass.

The overcrowded installation makes more vivid the variety of things Maxim has made in recent decades. A portfolio of drawings, viewable on request, affirms that product lines are the only lines he has not mastered.

The most startling recurrent motif in Maxim's work: his habit of attaching to a piece, almost as punctuation marks, one or more of the tools used in its making.

"String Drag Diptych #1" (2006) offers a handsome example. Here Maxim attached strings to the outer side edges of two small abutted, stretched canvases, painted white. A paint-stained wooden stick - fixed to the finished work - anchors each row of parallel strings.

Even with this demonstrative information, it remains unclear just how the work was made. Slurries of black paint stripe the canvas surfaces, seeming to flow toward their juncture. But these marks blur as much as they articulate the process of the work's making.

"String Drag Diptych #1" also exemplifies a mingling of humor and gravitas characteristic of Maxim's art. It broaches the weirdly post-minimalist notion of tools as unreliable narrators. His incorporation of crude marionettes into many works invites - or at least does not discourage - such a literary reading.

The "Diptych" may also allude to the "Three Standard Stoppages" (1913), purportedly standard measures that Marcel Duchamp made by tracing dropped strings.

But whatever interpretation it may support, "String Drag Diptych #1" has another quality typical of Maxim's art: a rich physicality.

To discover how this quality manifests itself as Maxim changes scale, materials, techniques and expressive strategies makes any survey of his art worth seeing.


David Maxim, a San Francisco painter whose accomplishment far outstrips his renown, has a show of works on paper at Lawson that anyone must see who cares to know what sophistication in contemporaryaart looks like.


Without making a program of it, Maxim took Bay Area Figuration in a completely unexpected and highly personal direction. Rather than confine figuration to the picture plane, he treated the pictorial support as a kinde of backdrop against which to stage all kinds of incident, with references ranging from the viscerally local to the cosmic.


Maxim's big paintings have frequently incorporated near-life-size swaddled mannequins, ambiguously deployed like giant marionettes to evoke everything from eroticism and rescue to violence and mourning.


In the years when public mindfulness of AIDS was high, these conjuctions of figures often seemed to evoke the epidemic's tragic dimensions. Now they probably have broader existential reverberations.


Faceless male figures appear in Maxim's watercolors also: "The Leapfrog Effect" (2007), has one bounding over the head and shoulders of another. Working his medium so wet that the figures nearly lost definition, he apparently tilted the paper one way, then the another, so that streaks of excess fluid elaborated the imagery. The resulting tendrils in "The Leapfrog Effect" recall the cordds from which menneqhins sometimes hang in his constructed paintings, and make the drawing digures look as if they are cossing a rope bridge, one on the other's shoulders.


Such ambiguities may sound easy, even automatic, but they come only to an artist who has relaxed into his practice over decades, as Maxim has.



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