The Drawers - Jen Dyck    Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Jen Dyck's work remind us of the human condition, slightly rickety, unsure and trembling with anticipation. The surface is a tad messy. Pieces wrinkle, flip up at the edges and the layering is patched. Variables of textures, patterns, rips and tears echo the contemporary overload of stuff. Throughout the confusion of dealing with surface, the figures go about their lives with simple descriptions as titles. In Carrying a man holds a woman in his arms with the antecedent of having picked her up (past) inextricably attached to the inevitability of putting her down (future).

Jen Dyck's figures sport the patina of living. Caught in the moment as if in a snap shot, they are surprised in their acts and look out of their smeared existence with vulnerable emotions. These are the photographs that are discarded, that never go to press or are filed at the bottom of the box where private moments, once recorded, are left out of the album. Jen Dyck, retrieves them, pays attention to them, scrubs and scribbles them back to life and passes the abandoned passage of time over for fresh inspection.

The handling of the surface is extreme; bashed, blurred and blowing. Dyck's attempt to get to the bottom of existence appears frantic. She uses an energetic line, a free and loose stroke. She paints with collage using the ripped paper as strokes and even modeling with the application. She pastes on her paint using an approximation of placement so that the figures feel as if they have shifted during her capture. The subdued colors are complex, a riot of depth, a painterly pleasure field, like a de Kooning painting.

The figures lack perfection. They need orthodontic work, a fitness schedule, new clothes, money, a comfortable place or help carrying their load. This is Dyck's formidable talent: her work identifies individuality as well as imperfections on all levels through the choice of subject, materials and handling.
She's refreshes the homily “for all your faults I love you still, but you're never still.”

Copyright © 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers