David Simpson      Works  |  Bio  |  Press  |  Exhibition Views

American, b. 1928
Lives and works in Berkeley, California


David Simpson is a reductive painter who has been central to the Bay Area art scene since the 1950s. Working initially with materials that included metallic paints, and later with interference pigments, his paintings shimmer and alter in the light, depending on their angle of view. Simpson’s paintings are made through a process that the artist has developed over time, which includes sanding the canvas to a velvety smooth surface in preparation for the interference paints, and applying as many as thirty layers of paint to the canvas using a special metal trowel that the artist designed. Interference paint contains micro-particles coated with titanium oxide or mica, which interacts with light and produces a refraction that creates optical illusions of depth, shadow and hue.

David Simpson has exhibited his work widely since the 1950s throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. He is represented in important public and private collections that include the Panza Collection, Varese, Italy; the Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano, Switzerland; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Seattle Museum of Art, WA; National Collection of Fine Art, Washington, D.C.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago; and the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum of Trento and Rovereto, Italy. Simpson received his MFA from San Francisco State College (now SFSU) and BFA from the California School of Fine Arts (now SFAI).