Canadian artist Chris Dorosz takes the incidental drop of paint as the Platonic ideal of all his work. To create the “paint drop” sculptures featured in his current solo show of new work at Scott Richards Contemporary, Dorosz explains that he “[traps] fallen paint drops in a grid work of clear vertical rods. Through the viewer’s movements in aligning and de-aligning these pixel-like paint drops, full body portrait forms emerge and vanish.”
The three-dimensional pointillism of Dorosz’s work is complemented by his subject matter, which typically concerns crowds of people interacting. As with earlier Pointillists, such as Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, Dorosz depicts bourgeois groups in moments of leisure and entertainment, such as at parties or stadium events. He culls his imagery from photographs found on the Internet or in the Wall Street Journal. In his “Stasis” series one encounters a measure of contradiction; the images are still and made up of small, discrete points, but they add up to a larger image that changes depending on the movement of the spectator. In his 2013 assemblage, Stasis 77 (Annette de la Renta), a woman in a gown is the central object of attention for three men, all adorned in formal attire. Their bodies and faces are blurry, as if in motion, and they’re made up of numerous small, colorful dots, though the cumulative effect is that all of them are dressed in dark, almost black clothing. The image is made up of dots on a matrix of monofilament cords strung between two gridded pieces of plastic. The various depths at which they’re applied give the image an extra sense of dimensionality and movement.
Other works, such as his “Tiergarten” series, dissolve depiction into a miasma of dots that seem to float in space. In Tiergarten: Singularity (2014), Dorosz develops a two-tone field of gray and dark gray. Over the top he has applied speckles of paint in carefully plotted arrays of color. The entire image is abstract, but carries allusions to the body and landscape, and the precise choices made in the process are palpable. In his daubing, Dorosz is quite exacting, developing complex pictures out of incidental marks. That’s no accident.
“Chris Dorosz: Tiergarten” will be on view at Scott Richards Contemporary Art, San Francisco, through Nov. 1, 2014.