Shades of Meaning: David Storey at Ralph Pucci International
As an abstract painter, David Storey says, “I’m leery of the anecdotal. I aim for simplicity, which is actually quite complex.”
A solo exhibition at Ralph Pucci International in New York perfectly illustrated that point. To introduce Pucci’s latest two male mannequins, Matt and Ryan, Storey transformed the showroom with 12 murals, plus an enormous floor piece. All were amorphous organic forms utterly open to interpretation.
“When Ralph asked if I’d collaborate with him on a mannequin launch, I said yes before even knowing what I would do,” Storey says. Fortunately, after being awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Storey had been doing residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. “Both places are immersed in nature. That’s when I realized nature is indifferent. It goes ahead with its own magnificence and inevitability whether we pay attention or not,” he says. And that’s how he chose the exhibition title, “The Architecture of Indifference.”
Physical conditions at Pucci’s showroom were pivotal, too. “The light, the white, they called out for an austere but rich world of grays,” Storey notes. He even applied that palette to the square structural columns marching through the 4,000-square-foot space. “They were an implacable architectural manifestation,” he continues. Painting each side of each column a different shade dissolved them into an artistic whole.
Photography by Antoine Bootz.