Saturday, October 20, 2007

Licorice Allsorts... of the Mind!

"The elegant Portal paintings seem to offer a bittersweet passage to a less cluttered realm. Details are sketchy – the bullseye of the spiral’s center is an unknowable threshold of zero dimensions, but it’s clear that all baggage has to be discarded on this side of the equation. What a surprise to find all your familiar acquaintances waiting for you on the other side! Ay, there’s the rub. The deliverance offered in bridging the event horizon of a black hole is as likely to be the inescapable psychodrama of Solaris as it is to be the high amniotic indifference of 2001. Or perhaps it’s a Cabaret, old chum.

Mark Dutcher’s 2007 suite of Black Paintings seem to offer a speculative simulation of this very Far Side of our sensual and phenomenological constraints. Suddenly we confront De Selby’s ultimate accumulation of “black air,” a torrent of matériel noir that inverts our figure/ground understanding in an equally binary optical value reversal. In a variety of tableaux that recall freeze-frames of various vintage Big Reveals – particularly the withdrawal of curtains to expose the theatrical stage or cinematic screen – Dutcher delivers a best guess at second sight. Will there be a new way of seeing in the Kingdom of Heaven? Or is this it? Through a glass darkly, or infinity in a grain of sand? Or the contents of a gumball machine dumped in a cauldron of squid ink at full boil?"

from my catalog essay "Sugar in the Dark: Mark Dutcher’s Black Paintings"
published in conjunction with "Curtains", his exhibit at

High Energy Constructs
990 N. Hill Street, Suite 180
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Opening tonight, October 20 2007 from 6 - 9
On view through December 01 2007

Mark also has a spectacular survey show running concurrently at the Huntington Beach Art Center

Mark Dutcher's Shelf Life
538 Main St.
Huntington Beach Art Center
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
On view through December 16 2007

Above 'Cinema'
Below 'A Year in the Theater'

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