David Konigsberg is a conceptual realist whose work has been shown in galleries and public art spaces throughout the United States. For this show, he has painted two distinct, yet contrasting, series: large paintings focused on small, intimate details of daily life, and small paintings of the Hudson Valley's dramatic (and increasingly vulnerable) landscape. A supporter of (and frequent volunteer for) the Columbia Land Conservancy, Konigsberg was born in rural Pennsylvania now divides his time between Brooklyn and Ghent. This year, he will continue his practice of donating 10% of all his proceeds from the show to the Land Conservancy's efforts to preserve open space.
~ Artist in Residence, MacDowell Colony (1998)
David Konigsberg was born in Warren PA and lives and works in Brooklyn NY. His rural and urban experience play out in a love for both landscape and conceptual narrative, genres he often travels between and sometimes combines. Konigsberg’s work has been exhibited in galleries and art centers throughout the United States, including Allen Sheppard and David Findlay Jr. in New York, Ballard Fetherston Gallery in Seattle, and the Kentler International Drawing Space in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
At a time when figurative art has enjoyed something of a revival, it is refreshing to find a reason why it should—that is, an approach that doesn’t just revel in the form, but looks at the figure anew, and gives a fresh application. What has attracted me to the work of David Konigsberg is his fairly unique ability to marry traditions of painting (and a classicist’s eye) and acontemporary sensibility. These are not, in other words, your father’s figurative paintings.
Whether large or small, Konigsberg’s figures are clearly in a state of transition, filled with character and individual intent, yet tied to a larger choreography over which they have little control or awareness. The spiritual implications of this are both ambiguous and profound.
Tension lurks beneath the placid, and humor betrays the menace. In paintings that are frankly a pleasure to look at, he delivers us to a mixed emotional state—one that feels altogether natural in our current time and place.
David Konigsberg bridges the divide between art and real life in narrative paintings and works on paper that are both objective and conceptual. His style is soft and approachable, and he invites the viewer into an appealing pictorial landscape. Konigsberg comes to his art from the point of view of a writer and brings literary traditions to painting in the form of reoccurring symbols and characters. These take the form of airships, swimmers, men in suits and other figures, acting singly or in groups. Nature is usually the backdrop, but sometimes it takes center stage . . . . His technique of using creamy paint scrumble over a warm ground is especially evident in works in which image and ground are embedded in an atmospheric space. Konigsberg's work occupies a nether world of image and memory in his very personal narratives, which are not meant to be deciphered but experienced as emotional possibilities. As viewers, we become involved in the artist's drama, a universal one, of what it means to be human.
Margaret Neill, curator, 4Sight: Realism to Abstraction, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn NY February 21, 2002