Guerilla Arts and Dallas Contemporary
The large, taut string installations in Gabriel Dawe’s “Plexus” series create new spaces while transforming their surroundings. Such a powerful architectural effect makes them indeed site-specific. In Plexus No. 3, 12 layers of Gütermann sewing thread stretched from the hard concrete floor to the flower-embossed, aluminum-plated ceiling of Guerilla Arts’ ramshackle storefront space. Attached to thin wooden slats above and below, the threads created an Op Art-inflected vertigo. By crisscrossing the threads, Dawe created a diamond-shaped opening down the center, allowing viewers to look across the room through the work while, at the same time, experiencing a fusion of light, space, and color. The collision of delicate art and derelict building heightened an unconscious richness in the old tumbledown space. A similar effect occurred in the larger Plexus No. 4 at Dallas Contemporary. There, two almost wall-like rows of Dawe’s colorful strings ran diagonally from floor to ceiling on wooden slats placed at the center of the warehouse space. The angling of the forms created a unique anamorphism that reduced viewers to dizziness as they walked between the tightly strung strings. As at Guerilla Arts, brawny concrete floors marked a counterpoint to the airy installation. And this—rough, hard, and heavy against light, thin, and evanescent—is the crux of Dawe’s spatiality. He creates spaces of gender interrogation—where the mores of sexual proclivity are put into question through the slightest of means, thread…see the entire review in the print version of September’s magazine.