frosch&portmann is pleased to present Sourmash, Dennis Dawson’s second solo show with the gallery. The exhibition features selected new works from his ongoing series of collaged wall pieces and, in addition to his own work, a painting by invited guest artist, Brooklyn based Carlos Charlie Perez .
Sour mash is a process used in the distilling industry that ‘recycles’ material from an older batch of mash to start the fermentation of a new batch. Sour mash whiskey is the resultant product. Given the hyper-connectivity and daily deluge of extemporaneous glut that filtrates our world via social media, it seems imperative to circle the wagons and double down with an exhibition of objects that emphasize process as well as tactile and material reality—an opportunity for slow looking and slow receiving. Farm to table. Dawson’s work never arrives new and fully formed. Instead, it often starts from components carried over from prior work. This occurs quite simply as harvesting materials from older pieces and also from ideas generated from previous bodies of work. The aim is to never have a clear beginning or end. A process unending and ever expanding.
“—Say it, no ideas but in things—
nothing but the blank faces of the houses
and cylindrical trees
bent, forked by preconception and accident—
split, furrowed, creased, mottled, stained—
secret—into the body of the light!”
(from Paterson: Book I) —William Carlos Williams
Dennis Dawson received his MFA from the University of Tennessee and lives and works in the New York metro area. Dawson’s complex, multifaceted works are composed of weathered material, loose torn out pages, and found objects. The artist places his distinct imprimatur to the collages and paintings by adding and subtracting materials to his multilayered surfaces. Dawson’s work often seems to have been transported from an era longtime past. He carefully hones and treats the materials in his collages, making them appear weathered and marking the passage of time, while simultaneously revealing the apparent hand of the contemporary artist. Dawson’s paintings and collages with their highly worked and exaggerated surfaces highlight the vernacular and hint at a sense of place.
Carlos Charlie Perez is a filmmaker and artist living in Brooklyn, NY.
He received his BFA from Cooper Union, New York. His current work is an attempt to re-contextualize figurative painting with an object-material based approach. To some extent, the paintings describe archetypal character traits—a generalization of those often written in film.