Dawn Csutoros

Related gallery: colour space – poetics of space

When iconic Chicago architect Mies van der Rohe uttered the famous words “less is more”, he was not to know how well his phrase describes the work of Dawn Csutoros.

Csutoros’ vibrant paintings seem to emerge from the well-spring of the Bauhaus, with the integration of music, art and order so perfectly married. Like composing a delicate symphony she adds just enough of a colour, just the right glaze, the perfect band of contrast to make the work come alive.

What at first appears simplistic, with time discloses complex relationships between gradation of tone, luminosity of colour, and variable surface treatments. In addition, sharp bands with clearly defined edges meet with softly dissolving boundaries between the various experiential spaces. Csutoros applies her paint layer after layer to achieve precisely calculated colour effects through subtle under painting.

However, unlike the Bauhaus and its exponents, Csutoros explores further than the relationships of formal elements and has been deeply influenced by Newman’s and Rothko’s belief that contemplation of colour planes could evoke emotional , even transcendental, experiences within the viewer.

Works such as Presence and Quiet Fire invite contemplation. ”They are deceptive in their simplicity and minimal composition. Quiet regard of these works rewards the viewer with a window into something beyond. At an instinctual level we respond to the richness and intensity of colour and the delicacy of its application. The lack of compositional boundary implies something larger and more extensive, possibly infinite. In this way it also approaches the sublime. The aspect of contemplation is important in the experience of the works i n this exhibition.” (Sean Kelly) It is through the relationships of space, colour and our experience that we see the truth in Csutoros and her works.

Jennifer Dickerson
Dickerson Gallery

Sydney, 2006