This is about the artistic exploration of tiny differences. First, conjure in your mind the Tim Bavington sculpture you’ve seen at The Smith Center, Pipe Dream. Bright, hard, straight-edged, the kind of work the artist is famous for (he just debuted a very similar piece in Dallas’ Victory Park). Now, mentally lay it alongside the image above, from an exhibit of Bavington’s work on view at MCQ Fine Art (opening reception November 8).
The difference is simply one of medium. But unpack it a little. The piece above is a watercolor, rather than being done in the automotive paints that coat his sculptures. Watercolor is translucent, wet, not the easiest medium to control; the sculpture paint is thick, opaque, hard-shelled. There’s something tentative about watercolor, the feathery edges of its lines, the very slight but still-visible bleed between adjacent colors. And yet, in the way the thinnest pinstripes of color in the piece above maintain their line, there’s a countervailing air of precision. In contrast to the bold, gregarious colors of his sculpture, the watercolors are muted, pinging a different emotional register than the Bavingtons we’re accustomed to. The incremental differences add up.
Tim Bavington: Sounds of Silence — coming some 11 years after his last local show — is up now at MCQ Fine Arts, 620 South Seventh St. The opening reception is 6-8p, November 8. More info: mcqfineart.com