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Between Worlds
Bailey Doogan, Daniel Martin Diaz, Jim Davis

Works on Paper by Bailey Doogan, Jim Davis, and Daniel Martin Diaz

Location: Etherton Gallery Downtown 135 S. Sixth Avenue, Tucson, Arizona

Dates: November 11th - January 3rd, 2004

Reception: Saturday, November 15th, 7 - 10 p.m.

Hours: 11-5 Tuesday - Saturday; 11-7 Thursday

Contact: Terry Etherton, Jerre Johnston, Hannah Glasston 520-624-7370

 

Bailey Doogan: As in her 1997 Land/Scape series Doogan continues to address the mutable landscape of being. Her ongoing investigations are based in her interpretation of the arbitrary and ambiguous self as it is defined by the visual and verbal analogues of language. There has always been a narrative concern, an "articulation," in her work, as in an early installation featuring the voices and portraits of women, or in her 1988 Context series. In the latter, her use of a ghost text in the paintings created a visual/ verbal current of meaning which reconciled the issues of aging with aesthetic beauty. In her 1997 paintings this referential mirroring of narrative comment was subsumed, the focus softened, and the emotive figure breathed through a material reference to the landscape. Imbued with a psychological charge, the works perform as a visual analogue to the interactive themes of social and personal experience that act to modify the "sense memory" of being within the features of a landscape. Inland or coastal, the body's articulation and representation as embodied nature-be it man as culture (landlord), or woman as nature (landlocked), occurs through the plastic means of pictorial invention - the brushwork's capacity to define a reality all its own.

In her recent paintings Doogan moves in on the body, hers in particular, calling into question how a woman is supposed to look, at what age, at any given time, what does forty, or fifty, or sixty look like? The veiled hues, the quality of flesh and fold, vein and sinew, rendered in layer upon layer of translucent pigmentation further Doogan's articulation of processes, in body, being and the hysicality of technique. Doogan's body of work also includes film, and three-dimensional constructions. Her animated film, SCREW, A TECHNICAL LOVE POEM has won numerous awards and has been previewed in festivals nationally and internationally. In addition to being witness to "the specific body that evidences the gravity and scars of time and experience," her latest paintings are hallucinatory visions, replete with the fantasy and cartoon-like irony of contemporary existence and the ongoing articulation of Doogan's diaristic wit.

James G. Davis: The primacy of the individual psyche and the elaboration of the personal myth born of memory, form the poetic narrative for Davis' figurative imagery. The underlying anecdotal comment is realized in the observed scenarios of his life, ranging from the rendering of his friend's murder in a barroom brawl, a cruise to Australia, Tahiti and Bora Bora, to a recent monumental canvas entitled Nova, which references a vacation spot in Nova Scotia. This highly developed personal mythology makes nostalgia functional, Davis' paintings and graphic works pose questions...then, now, before, after...constantly summing up the poetic strain of individual experience through figurative expression. As he states, "... the prints can be characterized as narratives, a scenario of events, both factual or projected from the actual or recombined. I would like to think of the images as a fabric that is some how connected - an atmosphere."

An acknowledged master of his craft, Davis' works are in the permanent collections of the Phoenix and Tucson Museum, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Hirshorn Museum and National Gallery in Washington, D.C. as well as other institutions in the U.S. and Germany.

Daniel Martin Diaz: Daniel Diaz's new drawings and his mixed-media paintings deal primarily with the influences of traditional religious beliefs and the role they played in his family's life - the didactic teachings that seemed to, in his words, "render no logical explanation." The motifs that run consistently through his works counter the Byzantine idea of hieratic rigidity with countless displaced saints who are suspended in the middle ground of belief and disbelief. In his new graphic works the history of drawing is realized in use of the Golden mean as a basis for the disembodied figures that float in the realm of what medieval theologians called, quidditas, the mystical essence of a thing. The inklings of disturbance are subsumed in the surreal figures of these truncated saints and madonnas who, no longer iconic, are hung from meat hooks, or bound hand and foot calling into question disjunctive complexes and taboos, and the mystic allegories of biblical teachings.

In Diaz's paintings the supple texture of his evenly applied paint keeps the figurative elements soft, while the fecundity of local texture (sand and other materials), accumulated from his surroundings, creates a slightly distressed surface. His handmade frames and simplified pictorial fields recall traditional retablos and the religious imagery of 19th century ex-voto paintings, while his melancholic and tortured saints acknowledge received meaning with a questioning revision.