“The line informs us about the absent forms, as only the missing remain in our memories, our books, and in our images. The line attests to the desire of thought.” -Dominique Labauvie
MIAMI, FL – Mindy Solomon Gallery presents Dominique Labauvie’s “Material Catch” on view January 21st–March 4th, 2017 at the gallery: 8397 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, in Little River. An opening reception with the artists will take place on Saturday, January 21st from 6-9pm.
Dominique Labauvie’s newest body of work is a series of sculptures and drawings focused upon ruin as subject, a theme often addressed in art history, and weighing heavily in Labauvie’s thinking as ever-present in our society by way of environmental damage, cultural destruction, government, and concern for the future. In Labauvie’s view, material culture—the remains of what once was—is material evidence which aids in understanding the past.
Through his sculptures, the artist translates the concept of ruin as the reduction of form to its minimum, the line of the funambule (French for tightrope walker), and sculpts in metal as a mark in space. The sculptures are fabricated using small segments of forged steel, welded, as marks on paper would be joined in drawing.
“The ground—any ground: earth, wood, or stone—hosts the forged lines, just as the landscape that for centuries has been mapped by rivers, roads, and highways. Drawing engraves the style of my sculpture. Drawing is one of the mental references of the sculpture, and in a sense it is a form of partnership.
“My sculpture not only addresses the line as a record to ‘transport time into space,’ but it also manipulates the material nature of steel. Steel is actually not natural but a man-made material, with the exception of the iron meteorite that falls from the cosmos onto earth. From the mineral to the industrial product, we can say that steel is a pure product of human inventiveness and work. As Valery wrote in 1937, ‘What would we be without steel?’
“The floor of the studio where I work is a surface on which I move. The segments of the sculpture are laid out, unconnected and moving all the time without a predetermined direction, as in a drawing. As I work, the image appears and disappears—creating a kind of high and low tide of perception. The line and its speed, its texture, tension, or extension is found well within the nature of the steel; it constructs the different rhythms of its presence and names them. When a line bends, it slows down; as it expands, it suddenly appears as a flat surface: it carves out its presence in space like a black hole.”
Labauvie’s sculptures are intended as a physical homage to the strength of survival. The Arrival is the last sculpture of this series, “a declaration of victory and love,” which makes a historic nod to the famous Birth of Venus by Botticelli.
About Dominique Labauvie
Dominique Labauvie (French b.1948) lives and works in Tampa, Florida. Educated at the Beaux Art in Paris, France. In 1985 he had his first one-man show at the Gallery Jordan in Paris. In 1986, Dominique Labauvie received the Rome Prize for Germany and spent one year working in Freiburg/Breisgau, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Berlin. Since 1977, Labauvie has received numerous commissions for Public Sculptures in Europe and the United States. In 1997 he was commissioned by the City of Paris to create a monumental cast iron sculpture “Suspended Skyline” which is installed on the Quai de Seine at the entrance to the Park of the Villette. In 1999, he installed “Over the Cities” at the Vandenberg Airport in Tampa, commissioned by the Hillsborough Aviation Authority. In 2001 he was the subject of a retrospective exhibition of sculpture and drawings at the Coral Springs Museum in Florida.
In 2009 Dominique Labauvie received the Gottlieb Foundation Award Grant in honor of his artistic achievement. In 2009, he had his first New York solo exhibition, “Turning Point” at Haim Chanin Fine Arts. In August of 2010, “Musical Lines in My Hand” opened at the new Tampa Museum of Art. His work has been exhibited all over Europe, Japan and the United States in galleries, museums and cultural venues. Dominique Labauvie’s work is included in major public and private collections, including: The BNY | Mellon Corporate Collection, Pittsburgh, PA., The National Collection of Contemporary Art, France; Regional Collections of Art of Alsace, Paris, Languedoc Roussillon, France; The Runnymeade Collection in San Francisco; The Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida; the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida; and The Tampa Museum of Art.