Dominique Labauvie, who lives in Tampa via Strasbourg, makes sculptural works of forged steel that are welded together to form marks in space. In some cases, patina is applied to their surfaces. Although these works are sculptural, they are equally, if not entirely, informed by drawing and line. Those works that are installed directly against the white walls of the Mindy Solomon Gallery resemble large graphite drawings on paper. Cloud 9, a larger example (95 x 43 x 20 inches), is pushed up against the wall in such a way that, at a certain angle, the negative space of its “feet” seems to project a color block defined by the convergence of the white walls and the gray industrial floor.
The works are minimal—stripped of any excess down to pure form. And yet, they are wholly precarious, at all times susceptible to the unknown disintegrative powers of a breath, or a loud echo. Their power lies in the tension that keeps them standing. Like a chest pushed out fully by a deep breath, they stand boasting, on the verge of crumbling or retracting at any moment. Here, we see sculptures not as sculptures, but as drawings, concurrently harnessing the maximum potential of both rigidity and dynamism.