Friday, April 27, 2012

Dawson Weber: An Unfolding View

(To learn more about the "Viewfinder Project" see the original post.)

Dawson Weber sent me a thoughtfully and thoroughly packaged "Viewfinder". Actually, it seemed like he sent more than one. He titled the artwork Double Viewfinder and it consists of part I and part II.

Front of packaging sent by Dawson Weber

Unpacking Dawson's "Viewfinder" could be considered a metaphor for the way we have to take apart or consider each part of what we see in order to receive a more complete view. Because of Dawson's note about "handling with care", I saved his work for my last "Viewfinder" review. I did not want to risk shifting the delicate pastel drawing.

Dawson Weber: Part I of Double Viewfinder as found carefully packaged

Dawson Weber: Part II of Double Viewfinder as found carefully packaged

Dawson's projects usually have a rich conceptual origin (for more information visit his website). In this case his style of his drawing reminded me of his background in classical music. I connect the joy of movement, color, and material I see in Dawson's work with the artist Wassily Kandinsky (Kandinsky was interested in abstraction and its connection with music). The packaging and the delicacy of the pastel are parameters that seem to heighten the aura of the work. It is as if you know the experience can not last because of the fragile shifting nature of the pastel. The drawings remind me of the way we want to hold onto a song we love but can't because it keeps moving or the way we know that the color of a flower will not stay the same.

Dawson Weber, Double Viewfinder Part I,  Pastel, 15" x 11", 2006

Dawson Weber, Double Viewfinder Part II,  Pastel, 6" x 4 1/4", 2006

Double Viewfinder Part II placed on top Double Viewfinder Part I 
(set up to give a sense of scale and connection between the two parts)

Finally, what I have learned from observing Dawson Weber's artwork and other work that commands my attention is that investment must be made. When consideration is given then the world can be seen with greater depth. To see life and recognize its complexity is surely an amazing gift.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Glimpse, A Fragment, A Monumental View

(To learn more about the "Viewfinder Project" see the original post.)

The three "Viewfinders" presented in this post seem to me like short summaries for a larger narrative. When each image is given a focus, a more monumental view can be found. Because each reveals accessible details about daily life (some perhaps overlooked), they remind me of  words by Josef Albers:
easy - to know
that diamonds - are precious
good - to learn
that rubies - have depth
but more - to see
that pebbles - are miraculous
Below is another kind of list that Elijah Gowin saved from a religious meeting. It could have easily been discarded, but it also has a resonance involving reflection, order, and a concern for others.

Elijah Gowin, Viewfinder, 4 1/4" x 6", Photocopy, 2006

When making requests for "Viewfinder's" I was certain Elijah would return an example. However, I was less certain about what Emmet Gowin (Elijah's father) would produce. My suspicion was that it would take Emmet a while to consider the problem. The opposite was true. Within about an hour of me suggesting the project, Emmet had taken some pictures at a neighborhood picnic, dry mounted one to a "Viewfinder" card, and returned it to me. In the photograph below, a flurry of activity yields an image of humor and vitality.

Emmet Gowin, Viewfinder, 6" x 4 1/4", Inkjet Print, 2006

I have been unable to track down the author of the last piece (the envelope it came in was miss-placed). However, the image of the open sky seems to be about freedom and a realm beyond the self. In the context of the universe at work, when I look up at the sky, I am reminded that my problems are small.

Anonymous, Viewfinder, 4 1/4" x 6", Ink and Digital Print, 2006