press release

Dike Blair

The central object of Dike Blair's oeuvre, which he has pursued since the early 1980s in gouaches, is a contemporary interpretation of the landscape and the still life. Since the 1990s, he has also created sculptures, often in dialogue with his paintings, but unlike the latter, they translate his ongoing engagement with questions of form into abstract designs.

The series of works he presents at the Secession capture seemingly arbitrary segments of domestic settings such as a piece of floor, a cropped section of a door, or a part of a window in peculiarly off-kilter frames. The pictures look like inadvertent photographic snapshots but are in fact the results of deliberate and careful composition.

Dike Blair often presents his pictures in thematic pairs and in interaction with sculptures, arrangements that bring out formal aspects and contrasting principles of order. The alternation of opulence and emptiness, nature and architecture, interior and exterior, center and periphery reflects the dualism that underlies the artist's thinking and creative approach and lets him confront a dilemma of artistic production: to make any formal choice is to discard a viable alternative that would yield a completely different result. Hence the frequent appearance in his oeuvre of pairs of sculptures that represent two versions.

Blair's exhibition at the Secession will feature a selection of around fifty paintings as well as a new series of sculptures he plans on realizing in Vienna.

The artist's book Drinks will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.

Dike Blair was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania, in 1952. He lives and works in New York.

Curator: Bettina Spörr