Chris Moylan writes:
A fat graphite
figure slops out of a multi-colored disc in David Dupuis's "Love
Connection" at Derek Eller Gallery, licking the edge of
the twin disc on the opposite panel of the diptych; the color
wheel has got its tongue. Or phallus, which suggests that if
color could talk, it would talk about sex. Language often appears
to be rising (or falling) out of the surfaces in this remarkable
group show, rising and receding, changing form, just eluding
one's grasp, as it were. Biomorphic shapes drift over colored-pencil
wave-patterns in two other compositions by Dupuis. Abstract
shapes within thought or dialogue balloons of cartoon illustration
imply that something is being expressed under the pleasant glow
of amorphous suns hovering nearby. The allusions to thought
and talk tease us out of the merely decorative without resolving
into reference or abstraction. The general effect is a trippy
isolation, the odd creatures of another world viewed through
sealed glass. Even in those works in which the figures are somewhat
more accessible there is a sense of pre-verbal yearning, of
significance pushing up from the surface.
David Dupuis Untitled 2001, color pencil,
graphite on paper, 15" x 11"
all photos this article courtesy Derek Eller Gallery, New York
In Nina Bavasso's "Suzanne's
Burial Mound," [see cover] flower shapes
and quilt patterns in pinks and lavenders weave through the
geometric lines. The composition, breast-like, mound-like, pillow-like,
forms into something at once comforting and restless, improvising
on feminine motifs while allowing the momentum of repetitive
pattern to inscribe the surface with an intensity of gesture.
Bavasso's elaboration of simple, freely drawn shapes has been
compared to doodling, but, as is the case with Dupuis's work,
the building up of irregular forms into an off-balance mass
suggests something more complicated and ambitious than that.
Her images get at a merging of biology and signifying system,
of vital energy and consciousness, as if the unwieldy cell structures
she draws were tottering into nostalgia or whimsy.
Masullo 3878 2001, oil on canvas, 10" x 20",
Andrew Masullo's three-dimensional
paintings introduce a brightly colored and palpable thingness
to all this play on signifying and not signifying. He builds
and shapes with paint, raising three-dimensional shapes off
flat, painted grids or monochrome surfaces. Again, there are
biomorphic shapes, and hints at codes and signs, as well as
cheerful allusions to Pop, Minimalism and Modernist abstraction.
It is difficult to say what this adds up to, or if adding up
to a particular point is at issue. Masullo titles his works
according to their place in his oeuvre, and by now the four
digit stretch of each title has its own poignancy. In this near
hermetic persistence Massullo connects, paradoxically, with
Dupuis and Bovasso. That Derek Eller should bring together such
particular artists, and allow their works to speak among each
other without an imposed rubric, is a credit to his eye and
to his critical acumen.