Exhibition: Fields and Fences
August 16, 2019 at 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The Madoo Conservancy is pleased to present Fields and Fences: Paintings 1998-99, a selection of paintings by Robert Dash. The exhibition will be on view from August 9 through October 12, 2019, and is free and open to the public.
“The field was tended and cherished like any object of vertu. Unlike porcelain, however, whose pieces may be glued, the field is valueless and irreclaimable, the light of centuries of harvest snuffed.” —Robert Dash, Notes from Madoo
The paintings from the series Fields and Fences are indebted to Robert Dash’s well-known paintings from the 1960s and 70s of a now all but vanished Sagaponack landscape. The pastoral expanse pushing past fences trying in vain to divide and contain it, as seen in this 1998-99 series, is also present in one of Dash’s paintings from nearly 40 years prior. This prefiguring work, Untitled, 1961, is included in the exhibition. By the late 80s, Dash’s fields have moved beyond representation and are made not of earth but of paint. Vibrant orange and yellow, pink and red, laid down with brushstrokes alternately fluid and harsh, pushing past the now ambiguous forms (fence or phallus) carefully scrawled in dark gestural lines of charcoal. While they retain elements of their precursors and anticipate their successors, these works mark a definitive departure into the world of expressionism and abstraction.
“Of course, there are the paintings of the field, but I am not interested much in paintings of vanished landscapes, and I loathe nostalgia.” —Robert Dash, Notes from Madoo