Les Yeux du Monde presents
Dean Dass: New Paintings and Works on Paper
17 November – 31 December 2017
Les Yeux du Monde will feature for its final show of 2017 Dean Dass, one of the most important mainstays of the gallery since its inception 23 years ago. Dass, an influential professor of printmaking at the University of Virginia since 1985 is well known regionally, nationally and internationally for his handmade books, unique prints and sublime oil paintings. He has exhibited and is in collections of museums throughout the United States and beyond in countries such as Poland, Brazil, England, Finland, the Netherlands, Egypt and Portugal, and has been continuously recognized with prestigious awards and fellowships for his contributions in all mediums.
Dean Dass easily traverses centuries and disciplines in subject and medium as if in conversation with the past and the future and his resulting works suggest the mysteries of our place within nature and the cosmos. Dass will exhibit his latest unique works on paper as well as his Cloudsthat use veils of pigments and other materials stained and painted on paper and then mounted on wood, resulting in an earthy mineral quality merging with the ethereal. His masterful oil paintings employ the Northern Renaissance technique of layering numerous thin glazes to allow the light to shine through creating brilliant transitory effects. One thinks of the mid nineteenth century painters in the Sublime tradition such as Albert Bierstadt, even if Dass’s focus is closer to home, a muddy riverbank instead of a panoramic view of the landscape. Although his oils usually were devoid of people and animals, for this show he introduces figures on a riverbank in a huge mural sized painting and birds in a series of small oil paintings. The mural brings to mind the work of Norwegian Edvard Munch and the Romantic northern tradition also seen in Casper David Friedrich’s melancholic figures in landscapes contemplating eternity. Birds in his earlier prints were often admonishing humans for their careless stewardship of the environment, (typical for the erudite Dass, this theme he took from a poem written in the 16th century). Dass writes, “The cloud, the animal and the bird…appear ominous, threatening, falling; they function as Nature’s reproach to humankind. But clouds and birds also soar, protect us and envelop us. We dream of clouds and animals.”
There will be an opening reception on Friday, November 17 from 5 – 7 p.m. and a lunch with the artist on December 6. The gallery is located at 841 Wolf Trap Road in Charlottesville and is open Thursday through Sunday 1 – 5 and by appointment. Call 434-972-5566 or 434-882-2620 for more information or visit our website at www.LesYeuxduMonde.com.