Dike Blair's recent hybrid sculptures are comprised of painted, wooden shipping crates that contain framed, gouache paintings, which unpack to become part of a larger assemblage. The crates may also contain objects, like painted carpets or Noguchi lamps. The sculptures may evoke thoughts about light, both actual and implied, the liminal, and more quotidian notions about storage, furniture and the human body. In his more recent sculpture, he has dispensed with artificial lights in favor of a heightened painterly luminism. His photo–based gouaches capture glimpses of a roving eye that seeks out and captures a split second, dead–pan phenomenon of the observed world. They bring attention to the banal and transitory details of everyday life, from cigarettes in ashtrays to footprints in snow. They feel at once very personal, even diaristic, but also filtered and mediated.
Dike Blair was born in 1952 in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He studied at the University of Colorado, Boulder; Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine; and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York. He received his M.F.A. in 1977 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. Blair’s work has been exhibited in several group shows, including “Elysian Fields,” Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2000); “Tele[visions,” Kunsthalle Wein, Vienna (2001); “New Hotels for Global Nomads,” Cooper–Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York (2002); “Shangri–La,” Islip Art Museum, New York (2003); “Vanishing Point,” Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus (2005); “Neonoir,” Howard House Contemporary Art, Seattle (2007); and “Lateralisms,” The Hogar Collection, New York (2010). Recent solo museum exhibitions include Charleston Heights Art Center, Las Vegas (1998); and Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro (2009).
Blair currently lives in New York.
August 26–September 10, 2017
Karma, Amagansett, New York
Dike Blair’s new oil paintings capture a split second of the observed world with deadpan perception. They bring attention to the banal and transitory details of everyday life, like a view of the sky from a window, the markings in a parking lot, or footprints in snow. Duane Hanson similarly works with the banal and commonplace, but offers people as his subjects. Life size and realistic down to the hair on their arms, their uncanniness is only furthered by their frozen state and the loneliness of their archetypal roles becomes obvious in their stares.
Dike Blair, Untitled, 2017