Don Parr is investigating the machine age materials while referencing and innovating upon the post-war artists. The current body of work consists of airplane parts converted into free standing sculptures and new material relief sculptures. The sculptures on the wall act as paintings and reflect the hard-edge painting style. His time living in the upper east side of New York City gave Parr access to art from the Whitney, Guggenheim, Metropolitan, and MOMA. Life in the city was Parr’s visual education which he employees in his studio practice.
A memorial show of Lorser Feitelson’s work at the Whitney sparked Parr’s creative direction toward hard edge painting. Parr is also rooted in the Color Field painters of the New York School. Artists like Rothko, Still, and Newman inform his work. These artists understood that expansive spaces of color have a powerful energy. Because of the metal material, his objects are reminiscent of Frank Stella’s minimalist period. His graphic iconography relates more to Jasper Johns.
The free standing sculptures are deconstructed parts of aircraft that are repurposed, creating an aesthetic object for its own sake. The wall panels use methods and materials used in aircraft construction to achieve the clean and sharp line quality. The material investigation leads to formal qualities of line, shape, and form. This expression of the formal elements with the recognizable connection to the materials leads to an emotional connection with the spirit of adventure, strength, and elegance of design.