Mark Dutcher: Gone

Project Room 2 Sep 9–Nov 25, 2006

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Mark Dutcher: Gone
Sep 9–Nov 25, 2006





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Mark Dutcher, The Martyrdom of the Philospher, 2005 (detail)

Mark Dutcher’s paintings in Gone grappled with questions related to the universal human issues of loss and death, the exploration articulated through an intricate visual vocabulary developed over many years. Specifically, Gone reflected Dutcher’s response to Julia Morgan’s Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, California, a columbarium lined with niches that held urns of cremation ashes, as well as flowers and numerous idiosyncratic personal keepsakes to memorialize the dead. Dutcher’s paintings were similarly compartmentalized, each cubicle richly decorated with objects suggesting the passage of time and inspiring individual and communal narratives–mandala-like braided rag rugs, pinwheel collaged elements, and stacked hour glass forms all suggested animated portals leading to another world. These scenes were inhabited by crudely rendered figures painted in a thick and colorful impasto. At once celebratory and somber, Dutcher’s imagery blurred the line between quotidian still life and spiritual dreamscape. 

Gone included a new, site-specific work, The Martyrdom of the Philosopher, created especially for the Santa Monica Museum of Art.