Warren Dykeman
Bio | CV | warrendykeman.com | #warrendykeman | 2018 interview

Oct 1- Oct 29, 2022 “Never mind, it’s absolutely pure.”
In new paintings and drawings Warren Dykeman moves closer towards raw painterliness and away from the clean edges and flatness of previous work.  Over the last decade the Seattle-based artist has developed a visual lexicon of what might be described as cottage core:  faux naive silhouetted figures in Western garb, a homey vase of flowers, handpainted signage. These and other forms share the bold graphic quality of the indigenous, self-taught and graffiti artists Dykeman admires.  The crayon-colored spears of cartoonsque leaves cram the picture plane in Leafy (2022) as if assembled for a group photo.   A sliver of blue at the top sets the scene in an indeterminate space. Is this a strange forest, a partial still life, or a section of pop patterned wall paper?  

The diptych, Sonny Red (2022) sets a strutting figure in profile alongside a full frontal vase of flowers.  What makes the pair strange is that the vase stands at nearly the height of its companion, filling it from top to bottom. The viewer is caught between the familiar folksy imagery and formal circumstances that make it abstract and contrived.  Complicating matters, details such as the figure’s burlesque red cowboy boots and  fingers of his raised hand pointing like a gun make these pictures topical and current.
-Melissa E. Feldman

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