DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary, Brooklyn
"Pure expression is what one gets from the paintings of Daniel John Gadd — an all-out battle of ego. But that’s not all. In an effort to reclaim the past, for Gadd, his paintings are a battle for redemption. What might Uirst seem entirely instinctual and spontaneous, is not. Gadd wrestles with the making, chopping, justifying and wrangling of it into a structure that harbors a surface of drama so specific that it is as though the work delivers reason into a world without it."
— Jason Andrew
Gadd references aspects found in the work of American Masters such as Elizabeth Murray’s love of Cubism and shaped formats, Joan Snyder’s color sense and languid/free/fierce marking in the service of a personal story telling, Thornton Dial’s use of non-traditional deconstructed formats and materials, and James Castle’s painfully intimate poetic references to birds, Gadd invents a post-modern modernist mash-up that blurs the boundaries of painting and sculpture, abstraction and figuration, “high” and “low” art. This aesthetic is borne out of Gadd’s own life’s histories, his personal struggles, and triumph over them, through his love of family, and his love of the act of and history of painting. He creates work that runs the range of human emotion – violent, fragile, sensitive, fierce, vulnerable, and compassionate all at once. These works are deeply moving, and flat-out beautiful. Gadd’s is a wholly original voice, rarely heard from a painter this age.
"We can view Gadd’s imagery as a repackaging of nature, as Scarpa recommended, but it also can be something else — anything else — without feeling arbitrary or facile, which is a testament to the artist’s emotional conviction and material sensitivity. However we approach them, these hulking, tough, fragile, partially destroyed, persistently regenerative works go a long way toward embodying this troubled, electrified moment."