Portrait of David Lynch, photography by Josh Telles


Pace Welcomes David Lynch

Published Thursday, Oct 6

Pace is pleased to announce its worldwide representation of artist and filmmaker David Lynch. For over five decades, Lynch has nurtured a multidisciplinary practice that stems from his early work as a painter and spans painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, music, and film. From November 4 to December 17, Pace will present an exhibition of new and recent work by Lynch at its 540 West 25th Street gallery in New York, marking the artist’s first show with the gallery. Titled Big Bongo Night, the exhibition will feature mixed media sculptures, paintings, and a work on paper that shed light on Lynch’s distinctive visual arts practice. Concurrent with Lynch’s debut at Pace, Sperone Westwater in New York will present I Like to See My Sheep, a show dedicated to his works on paper that follows the artist’s major solo exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and drawings with the gallery in 2019.

Though he is an artist first and foremost, Lynch is widely known as an Academy Award winning filmmaker whose filmography includes Eraserhead (1977), The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986), Lost Highway (1997), Mulholland Drive (2001), Inland Empire (2006) as well as the television series Twin Peaks (1990-91) and Twin Peaks: The Return (2017). His first foray into filmmaking came when he was studying at the Boston Museum School and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in the mid-1960s: Lynch, desiring to animate his two-dimensional works, produced his first “moving painting,” Six Men Getting Sick (Six Times) (1967), which features a moving projection atop a multidimensional painting.


David Lynch, White Table Top Lamp, 2022 © David Lynch

The artist’s first exhibition with Pace—bringing together disquieting scenes on wood panel and paper as well as sculptures with light components—will spotlight his storytelling abilities. Lynch’s artworks often meditate on moments of disruption in domestic, everyday settings. Rife with unsettling, threatening, and enigmatic images, the artist’s work draws from the visual languages of Surrealism and Art Brut. Bringing madcap forms and media into conversation, Lynch’s semi-abstract paintings, which often feature flattened compositions and perspectival distortions, explore enactments of bodily and industrial decay. At the core of these works is a pervasive unease that speaks to the dark realities of contemporary American life.

Among the paintings included in Lynch’s forthcoming show with Pace is Airplane in Sky / Ant (2022), a fantastical tableau depicting a distressed ant at its center and incorporating playful textual elements. “It comes with the idea and it’s the idea that starts you, and then it’s this process of action and reaction,” Lynch has said of his approach to painting. “This is the thing you hope to keep alive. And there’s got to be a freedom to say, that didn’t work, it’s got to go. Then in the process of destruction, a beautiful new thing can emerge...random things, random choices and then—bang, an idea comes.”

A selection of Lynch’s mixed media lamp sculptures will also figure prominently in the exhibition. These works— forged with various combinations of steel, wood, resin, plexiglass, and plaster—are derived from the artist’s early paintings and experimentations with projection and moving images. Depending on their material makeups, these structures range from linear to geometric to biomorphic. “Electricity is so thrilling and think about wood...Nature supplies this for us, all different kinds of wood, and the structure of it can be sawed, sanded, shaped, polished, turned into furniture, so many things like houses,” Lynch has said of his fascination with the sculptures’ materiality.

Lynch has been the subject of major solo exhibitions at the Fondation Cartier in Paris; the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, Netherlands; Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia; Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow; HOME Manchester in the United Kingdom; Sperone Westwater in New York; Castelli Gallery in New York; Jack Tilton Gallery in New York; James Corcoran Gallery in Los Angeles; and elsewhere. His art can be found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht; the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris; and other collections around the world.

Marc Glimcher, President and CEO of Pace Gallery, says:

"I'm excited to welcome David Lynch to Pace, one of the most influential and innovative artists working today, David has made an indelible mark on visual culture over the past five decades. His filmmaking practice originated from his painterly pursuits in art school in the 1960s, and exchanges across mediums remain important to his work. We look forward to supporting David's work and sharing another side of his vast visual arts practice with our international audiences as part of this exciting new relationship."

David Lynch says:

“I am really happy to be at the Pace Gallery. Marc Glimcher came to my house and we had a great talk and some pretty damn good coffee. I told him I would try to do some good work for his gallery. I think he smiled and said, ‘You fuckin’ better!!!’”

  • News — David Lynch Joins Pace Gallery, Oct 6, 2022