|GABRIEL DAWE + VINCENT FALSETTA
at Conduit Gallery through November 15th
by Todd Camplin
What comes up must come down.
Gabriel Dawe celebrates his temporary installations’ deinstallation in this exquisitely beautiful,
conceptual show at Conduit. Vincent Falsetta seems to be deconstructing his paintings and
Sarah Ball is helping to pull apart the last remnant of Victorian morality with her depictions of
inmates which show ‘bad character.’ Three engaging shows with very different aims, but I see
almost an undercurrent in theme which runs through each show.
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|Gabriel Dawe’s show of thread and drawings had a strong connection to artists like Sol Lewitt
or Christo and Jeanne-Claude. All the evidence of Dawe’s pasts shows was present without
the actual construction of the piece. Dawe’s displayed the artifacts of his installations; his
drawings and thread where what was left from his presentation of a finished work. You might
say his thread was on stage for a moment and the curtain went down when he deinstalled
the art piece. In this show, Dawe is following a rich, all be it brief, tradition of Conceptual Art.
The concept that these art works were planned, executed, shown briefly, and finally
removed is part of what makes Conceptual Art so unique. Unlike a painting or sculpture,
Dawe is not interested in the product or object, but rather he is creating a brief aesthetic
experience. If these thread pieces are anything like Sol Lewitt’s paintings, then I could
image Dawe’s art being installed and uninstalled by later practitioners of Dawe. Like a
musician playing a piece from J.S. Bach by following his notations, an artist could play
Dawe by installing his piece through his instructions.
|I have written a great deal on Vincent Falsetta and his body of work and I wasn’t sure
I could say anything new about his paintings. But it occurred to me the Falsetta might
be deconstructing his paintings. What I mean is that he is showing the parts and process
of his paintings, much like his collection of index cards which tell a similar story. What is
important in this show is he also has paintings that completely cover the canvas with
his technique. This set of paintings are being paintings. While the art works that look
more unfinished feel as if they are becoming paintings, they are in reality also being
paintings. The idea of becoming has a great deal more tension and feelings of
unresolved issues. Both groups of paintings seem to talk to one another. I can imagine
each group of paintings wishing they were the other paintings. The feeling of
resolution is cathartic, but the feeling of becoming is exciting and dangerous.
|The little room for Sarah Ball is perfect for her little portraits. We are still dealing with the residuals of
Victorian Morals, though that era is over a hundred years gone. Ball explores the 19th century
idea of physiognomy or the judgement of people’s ethics by their outward appearance. Look
at the contemporary studies of juries, they are more likely to convict someone less attractive for
the same crime than someone more attractive. In her own way, Ball is poking at this issue of
our hangups that good looks equals an ethical person. Although, even before I knew much
about her content, these little portraits were still quite charming. I wouldn’t mind getting
to know one of her paintings better.
|I wish I could have focused on one artist at Conduit Gallery, but Nancy Whitenack and Danette
Dufilho make it hard to pick a favorite, so I had to write about all three. The curtain comes down
on all three shows, November 15th.
|Sarah Ball - Accused - Burglary
|Sarah Ball - Accused - Prostitution II