Bavington’s re-performances of Manet’s paintings are not melancholy. Within our time, and through translation, the darkness in the background is not ominous, it’s just a different kind of space. More like a blankness in the way a computer screen is blank, the blank of possibility, like the rustle at the headwater of a mighty river or the whoosh of air accompanying an open portal in science fiction.
Even if you don’t follow art, you probably know the work of Tim Bavington. “Pipe Dream,” his colorful tube sculpture outside the Smith Center, has become a Downtown icon since it made its debut in 2012—not to mention the background of countless selfies.
Artist Tim Bavington has learned two things in three years of teaching at UNLV. First, “I’m surprised by how much I love it,” he admits. Especially because “I spent 25 years studiously avoiding teaching.” The second thing he learned: how much he enjoys painting watercolors.
For several years, Tim Bavington has been bridging the worlds of music and visual art in a dramatic way by transforming pieces of music into bands of color arranged on canvases and as sculptures.
But don’t assume that, as a fine artist, Bavington is any sort of musical snob. He’s applied his artistic transformations to everything from classical musical selections to pieces from jazz, pop and punk.
Fifteen years ago, when Tim Bavington started exhibiting his blurry stripe paintings, he packed loads of visual dissonance — and jolts of emotional turbulence — into their fuzzy bands of synthetic color by using an airbrush to make hard-edged compositions.
His choice of tools was akin to a carpenter using a wrench to do a hammer’s job. The main difference was that Bavington’s hazy stripe paintings, all based on rock songs, did not make a mess of the job. They looked better and sexier and more attuned to the times than anything else out there.
Drawing inspiration from guitar riffs and heavy beats, Las Vegas-based painter Tim Bavington translates melodies from ear to eye with his vibrant works. As long time supporters of Bavington, we jumped at the chance to stop by his studio on a recent trip to the city of sin. Here we got some insight into his production process and learned more about an upcoming installation project and his next solo show at Los Angeles’ Mark Moore Gallery.
While not the typical cultural hub, Las Vegas has been essential to English-born artist Tim Bavington's success. Bavington left LA in the 1990s for Vegas, and later opted for grad school at UNLV after meeting Dave Hickey through Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, his professor at Art Center in Pasadena. With a shared affinity for Ed Ruscha, "by a great stroke of luck," Hickey became Bavington's mentor.
The stripe was an icon of the 1960s. It was the perfect structure for eluding the gestural paint strokes or drips favored by the preceding generation of abstract expressionists. Gene Davis, who died in 1985, was widely known as a painter committed to the stripe — more specifically, the vertical stripe. He used it like a rhythmic device.
NEW YORK—British painter Tim Bavington (b. 1966) is already well known in Britain and Europe, but recently his work has found a growing U.S. audience as well. Last fall, an exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, of 12 large (6-by-6-foot) paintings priced at $12,000/40,000 each, resulted in the sale of six works to a mix of U.S. and European private buyers and one U.S. museum, according to the gallery.
Bavington's new spray-painted stripe paintings are as gorgeous as any of the delectable abstractions he has made in the past, but far more complex in their emotional resonance. Alongside the joy and playfulness that seemed to be Bavington's specialty come slower, more savory sensations: rich mixes of sentiments seasoned by sorrow, suffering and loss but still thrilled by the rhythms and textures of life's little pleasures.
Many of Tim Bavington's vivid, dynamic paintings are visual translations of classic rock hits. The double-diamond shape of Hey Joe, for example, references the way Jimi Hendrix layered two different guitar tracks, one over the other, in the song of the same name. The repetitive slashes of Sound and Vision correspond to the minimal chord progressions of David Bowie's avant-garde anthem. You can almost hear Bavington's canvases reverberate with color.
The Las Vagas-based painter, 42, looks back at some of his professional turning points on the occasion o his solo show at the Jack Shainman Gallery, in New York. His latest works—vibrantly hued, striped paintings composed according to the chord structures of songs—can be seen here from Setember 10 through Obtober 10.
Chromophobes— people who hate and fear color — should steer clear of this optically ravishing exhibition. Tim Bavington creates a type of updated Color Field painting. His medium-large paintings most often consist of thin vertical stripes whose edges blur into one another. The colors are so intense that it is as if you were seeing them on a flat-screen television, or your visual perception had been amplified by a hallucinogenic drug.
If it did nothing else, “Las Vegas Diaspora: The Emergence of Contemporary Art From the Neon Homeland” could claim the best title of any art museum exhibition this year. The show chronicles the scattering of 26 artists who graduated from the gambling capital’s University of Nevada campus after studying in the 1990s with prominent art critic Dave Hickey.
Las Vegas artist Tim Bavington’s exhibition at the Mark Moore Gallery shows him deftly elaborating the stripe format that he’s brought back into abstract painting with such compelling force in recent years. As he moves forward, we also get to look back: The show includes an enlightening selection of studies that demonstrate how he uses musical notation as a structural basis for his art.
There’s more to Vegas than George Clooney-sponsored luxury condos and titillating neo- Burlesque bars. In fact, far from the strip, the once abandoned downtown district is in the midst of a revival, driven by an underground rock scene that is a locals’ refuge from the tourist hordes and by an emerging cluster of furniture and design community – turbocharged by a new Frank Gehry-designed Alzheimer’s research facility.
Bavington's bars at Marx: If video color bars looked as good as Tim Bavington's abstract paintings, people would watch them for their own sake.
Bavington, who lives in Las Vegas, makes a good example of how younger abstract painters reinterpret the styles of an earlier generation.
Seven years ago, on one who wanted to be taken seriously as an artist would think of making stripe paitings. Such pretty designes belonged on shopping bags or dusty canvases packed away in museum storage bins. Tim Bavington changed all that. Sprayed with an airbrush, his flourescent-hued panels were so vivid, sexy and luminous that no clear-eyed viewer could dismiss them for being frivolous or decorative.
From across the room, the largest painting in a show of new work by Tim Bavington at Mark Moore Gallery practically hollers, “Come look at me!” The Las Vegas-based painter betrays no fear of being flamboyant--and it’s easy to see why: His art delivers.
Aperto Las Vegas with David Pagel, who explains how art can thrive in a glitzy desert oasis where making art may seem like an even bigger longshot than beating the house.
I think of Tim Bavington as a kind of bartender. Trained in Las Vegas, America’s speakeasy for broad definitions of aesthetic activity (where he was mentored and championed by resident aesthete Dave Hickey), he serves up exotic cocktails on canvas, which like all exotic cocktails, necessitate odd names. Bavington borrows his titles, such as Crossroad Blues and Aqualung, from songs and albums by classic-rock bands like Cream and Jethro Tull. Composed of vertical stripes rendered in unmasked, airbrushed acrylic spray on canvas, Bavington's latest paintings (all works 2002) balanced precision and fuzziness, premeditation and intuitive expression.
This double debut of two young abstract painters indicates that the impulse to build on 1960's-style abstraction has both possibilities and pitfalls. Tim Bavington's elongated canvases covered with blurry but tightly vertical stripes suffer from familiarity. The color changes are beautiful and the stripes are sometimes highlighted in ways that have an animated optical effect. But in terms of technique and concept, and except for the narrow line of grisaille stripes along the bottom edge of ''Before Today,'' these paintings look as if they could easily have been painted in the 1960's. In particular, they suggest Gene Davis's stripe paintings as rendered by Dan Christensen in his paint-can days.
The L.A solo-debut by Las Vegas-based painter Tim Bavington keeps the recent push on abstract painting going full-tilt. His four gorgeous canvases at Mark Moore Gallery are a fresh and savvy reinterpretation of stripe paintings, here given an up-tempo musical spin. With the look of universal pricing codes on commercial packaging--except written large and in glorious Technicolor--the four unfold in a kind of formal narrative through the room.
In his essay for “Ultralounge: The Return of Social Space (with Cocktails),” critic Dave Hickey, who curated this exhibit of eleven young artists based largely in Las Vegas and on the West Coast, dubbed his show a “piece of concrete journalism” that would document a shift in attitude among the participants, away from the exalted realm of museum-sanctioned high culture and toward an awsthetic that affirms the casual social environment of the artstists.
A frequent visitor to Texas, Dave Hickey is one of those art critics whose essays achieve the elusive: They make art fun for the non-artist. He writes about art and cars, art and guitars, art and reruns of Perry Mason. He is a studied art-world renegade, a critic on behalf of Margie and Joe next door: He lives in Las Vegas when everyone else lives in New York or L.A.; he advocates beauty when beauty is passe; he argues for democracy when everybody else is a snob.