Inman Gallery announces its participation in the 2019 Dallas Art Fair (April 11–14) with an exhibition of work by Karin Davie, Dorothy Antoinette (Toni) LaSelle, and Sigrid Sandström. While diverse in their production, each painter touches on the suggestive interrelationships between abstraction, the body or the land, and communication between materials and forms.
Karin Davie (b. 1965, Toronto, Canada) is a leading artist in the current wave of painting practices transforming the legacy of high modernism to capture the dynamics of contemporary life. Her works on paper and paintings engage ideas around perception with an emphasis on the interaction between object and observer and concepts of the self and body in painting. The fluid, overlapping, gestural paint layers display a deft paint handling and sensuality. As the art critic Barry Schwabsky has pointed out, it is "…abstract painting that is not quite abstract—one that eschews all direct representation of the body yet continues to evoke it as an underlying presence..." And in Davie’s own words, “In a sense, concepts of 60s edge painting, Minimalism and Process Art have been humorously re-imagined. The iconic architecture of the ‘square within a square’ motif and suggestion of a metaphysical light at the end of the tunnel is transformed into a Pop infused personal image that is both optical and visceral, figurative and landscape—conjuring irrepressible energies, anthropomorphic identities, and metabolic processes. It is a ‘wavy’ image, a recurring theme in my work and a metaphor for human emotions and life’s challenges—something I seem to be obsessed with representing."
Texas modernist Dorothy Antoinette "Toni" LaSelle (b. Beatrice, Nebraska, 1901– died Denton, Texas, 2002) taught at Texas State College for Women (now Texas Women's University) for 44 years while maintaining her artistic practice and participating in the vibrant community of artists based in Provincetown, MA and New York. Studying with both Hans Hofmann and Moholy-Nagy, LaSelle's abstractions from the 1940s through the 1960s are simple in their composition, but possess a sophisticated sense of balance, color, and space. LaSelle was an important figure in the North Texas region during this time, as she regularly lectured about modernism at the Dallas Museum of Art as well as other arts organizations. Her charcoal and cray-pas drawings reveal a strong influence from the Bauhaus school precepts, emphasizing play and experimentation. In her own words: “My drawings are Space and Movement Compositions. They can also be called Space-Time drawings. The plane of the paper, the planes in the drawings, are all one thing. They cannot be separated. It takes all three together to create a plastic unit out of a flat piece of paper. They look abstract if one tries to find a still life or a figure. They are concrete, however, expressions of forms and space unified to make new dimensions out of the plane of the charcoal paper.”
Sigrid Sandström (b. Stockholm, Sweden, 1970) makes paintings that interleave hard-edged opaque shapes with translucent washes, squeegeed smears and fast brushstrokes. Sandström combines techniques from painting practices as diverse as action painting, land art, tromp l’oiel, and color field painting into her own unique voice. She presses paint-saturated, creased pieces of cloth onto her surfaces to produce variegated fields of color. Although the emphasis is on assembly – the nuts and bolts of Sandström’s process are on the surface – the accumulated layers wedge an unlikely depth into her paintings. Illusionistic rumples surge forward only to be restrained by thin, tape-like bands. The internal pressure – color over color, shape against shape – sustains a tentative, volatile space, and the paintings thrum with the experimental vitality of their making.