I was lucky enough to attend—just as those at New York’s Pace Gallery were kind enough to invite me to—a preview of David Lynch’s new exhibit, Big Bongo Night, which opens this evening, November 3. It’s not incorrect for official copy to call this gallery a “spotlight his storytelling abilities”—returning to any one painting after circling the surprisingly intimate, sparsely populated room, you’ll find three new points of interest via color, dimension, even extensive text—but per the artist’s decades-long proclivities it’s a staggering collection of immediate, non-verbal impressions.
Physical, too: visitors are permitted to flip switches on eight unique lamps, each intricately designed in combinations of wood, steel, plaster, and electric tape. (A ninth lamp is also on display, but frankly the switch was too tightly imbedded and induced fear of knocking it over.) Those familiar with Lynch’s paintings will immediately recognize the shades of red, brown, and black; surely they’ll be at home in bad-taste humor and unnerving passages rendered with his familiar handwriting.
If not a massive exhibit, Big Bongo Night held me for twice, three times the length I’d typically spend in a gallery of comparable size—first a natural extension of fandom, second and more profoundly the result of captive admiration. Below is a collection that simply previews Lynch’s new work; only attending Pace will allow the full experience.