David Amdur

Art Form(s)




[email protected]

St. Paul

Artist Statement

Even before the current pandemic, our culture was beset with isolation and conflict. For the past three years I have chosen to use my art to reach out to my community by depicting people coming together through music, art, festivals and social justice. Most recently, I have been focused on painting images of musical performances, mostly by local artists in small venues. I particularly celebrate players outside the mainstream, who extend the creative vocabulary of our community. In this past year, I was compelled to paint a memorial to George Floyd. I chose to represent his brother Terrance's visit to the site of his murder along with the community gathered there. Though anguished, I feel hope is found in how diverse people come together to demand justice. Before that, I created a series of paintings of the MayDay Parade, organized annually for 45 years in South Minneapolis  by the In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. Each April (before the pandemic), the community was invited to create hand-built puppets and masks for the parade— some over 15 feet tall. On the first Sunday of May, more than 50,000 diverse participants and spectators filed the streets in this celebration of local culture. Previously, I created a series of paintings of gardens in the Macalester/Groveland neighborhood in Saint Paul, inspired by their syncopated constellations of color and variegated texture. All of these works are intimate in scale, though I think they reward sustained contemplation by virtue of the characterization of the subjects, organization of the compositions, lighting, and resonance of color.

I am proud to be a painter that reveres art from the past. I do not ape any predecessors, but have studied many diligently to learn how to engage viewers in rich visual experiences. For Graduate School, I sought out a substantial education in figurative painting, and found it at Queens College of the City University of New York, where I studied with remarkable faculty, including Rosemarie Beck, Gabriel Laderman, and Robert Birmelin. These painters had the courage to row against the predominant tide of abstraction at mid-century to create truly original work informed by tradition. After completing my MFA, I secured a full scholarship for an additional year of study at The New York Academy of Art to gain more skill in figure drawing.

Selected Exhibitions and Performances
2008–16 Represented by Vern Carver Gallery, Mpls., MN
2011 Group Exhibition: Drawing the Human Figure, Katherine Nash Gallery, Mpls., MN
2010 Performance: The Problem of the Body, Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Mpls., MN
2009 Performance: The Problem of the Body, Minnesota Fringe Festival, Mpls., MN
2008 Performances: The Problem of the Body, Parts I, II & III, Patrick's Cabaret, Mpls., MN
2004 Two Person Exhibition: Local Landscapes, Hopkins Center for the Arts
Group Exhibition: Urban Scenes, Gallery T, Mpls., MN
2001 Juried Exhibition: College of Visual Arts Orbit Gallery, St. Paul, MN
1998 Solo Exhibition: Nomad Gallery, St. Paul, MN
1997 Group Exhibition: Genesis ’97; Jewish Community Center of Minneapolis, MN
1995 Group Exhibition: Art Teacher/Art Maker; Mpls. College of Art and Design, Mpls., MN
1994 Juried Exhibition: Minnesota State Fair St. Paul, MN (Reviewed in StarTribune)
1993 Juried Exhibition: Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, MN (Reviewed in StarTribune)
Juried Exhibition: Painting at the Nash, Katherine Nash Gallery, Mpls., MN
1992 Juried Exhibition: Art In General, N.Y., NY
Juried Exhibition: Bowery Gallery, N.Y., NY
1991 Group Exhibition: Salon '91, Organization of Independent Artists, N.Y., NY
1990 Group Exhibition: Art Against the War, PS1 Museum & Blum Helman Gallery, NY, NY
1989 Juried Exhibition: The New York Academy of Art, NY, NY
Group Exhibition: New Painting, Union League Club, NY, NY
1988 MFA Thesis Exhibition: Queens College, Flushing, NY
1986 Juried Exhibition: Art Center of Minnesota, Crystal Bay, MN
1985 Solo Exhibition: Control Data World Headquarters, Bloomington, MN

Work Samples

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