‘David Row: The Shape of Things’ to open May 29 at CMCA

“Thingamajig,” by David Row.

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) will present “David Row: The Shape of Things” from May 29 through Sept. 12. The exhibition is the first major show of the painter and master printmaker’s work in his home state.

Widely known for his use of irregularly shaped canvases and rich colors, Row manipulates symbols of infinity and juncture — ellipses and Xs — to create spatially complex compositions that transform the illusory two-dimensional picture plane into multi-perspectival infinite space.

As fellow artist and critic Ken Greenleaf writes in the exhibition catalog, “The narrative that Row has chosen to build is about our perception of things, and how that perception is both universal and personal. By spending time with these works we become aware not of how Row see things, but how we see things.”

“David Row: The Shape of Things” provides a survey of the artist’s shaped paintings from the mid-1970s to present day. A fully illustrated hardcover monograph, with essays by Greenleaf and art historian Karen Wilkin, will accompany the exhibition.

“For some time my work has focused on the tension between fragments and wholes,” Row says. “I’m not exactly sure why I’m drawn to this except that it seems to reflect the disparity between what we desire — wholeness — and what we experience — fragment. There is a mysterious and magical line between a group of separate parts and a group that becomes one whole.”

A native of Portland, Row has lectured and taught at numerous institutions and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in Painting and the Isaac N. Maynard Prize for Painting from the National Academy Museum. His work has been featured in more than 40 solo exhibitions and more than 100 group shows worldwide.

CMCA is located at 21 Winter St., Rockland. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go to https://cmcanow.org.

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