Saturday, April 22, 2017
This is Mark Dutcher’s second exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition will include recent works done after a period of seclusion that allowed the artist to revisit subjects that have defined his practice for many years.
Dutcher’s paintings occupy an original space between abstraction and representation: autobiography plays an important role in his paintings which, more universally, also allude to themes derived from literature, poetry in particular. Memory is a central subject as his paintings have often been interpreted as elegies to friends or personal heroes of particular significance to the artist. Treating the surface of his paintings as pages of an ongoing and often rewritten diary, Dutcher often reworks his compositions, returning to earlier series, adding layers of paint, unexpected figures or simply changing the shapes of abstract forms. Often these changes, consciously or not, do not obliterate entirely the subjacent images, transforming his paintings into complex and elegant palimpsests.
The work in the show will include paintings from his Kick the Can series and Utopian Grid paintings which explore the idea that painting is a utopian moment and how painting can be a memory of a spent desire. Some of the symbols and explorations come from Dutcher’s interest in the idea of the pleasure garden or Eden, Tom of Finland’s boots, the exuberance of a childhood game, confetti cubism and the artists of the Russian avant-garde specifically Malevich and Lyubov Popova.
About Mark Dutcher
Mark Dutcher’s work is engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the tenets of abstract painting and allegories of the contemporary world. He has been exhibiting his work in Southern California since the early 1990s and has had solo exhibitions at the Huntington Beach Art Center, Santa Monica Museum of Art, and Coagula Curatorial. Dutcher’s work has been in numerous group shows, including the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, Torrance Art Museum, and the LA Weekly Annual and “Fox Building 103,” an installation organized by the Hammer Museum at Fox Studios.