not without undue prolixity
c2000 by Dolores de Sade
The Other Art Fair 2014, www.doloresdesade.com
De Sade works using the often forgotten media of etching, drawing on its exquisite potential to mark meticulous detail. Etchings have a depth, a gravitas – perhaps from their use in books – that demands a certain way of looking. Their quiet beauty, subtle in black and white, is all the more expressive for its limitations, with concentration on the leading line and the evocative pattern of shadows. De Sade’s work is often curiously humorous – eight lined-up conifers finished with the words “and so on…” – including text or half-hidden objects, yet the imaginative potential of the etching is truly manipulated in her places or scenes. As sporadic illustrations in a dusty old book, these images invite us in with their detail and frozen narrative; their sharp outlines freezing moments in time, leaving each scene paused with a hushed anticipation, suspended in the clarity of the image. Indeed, in not without undue prolixity de Sade’s scene stops mid-action, capturing a split second as a man falls through the air and a puff of smoke clouds a barrel of a gun. The violent action of these distant figures is framed elaborately with the rolling shapes of the rock-face – so bowed-over and huddled towards the scene, they appear almost alive, party to the cruel trick of the shot. The light, bathing the falling figure ethereally, is a glorious haze, triumphant against the dark and heavily etched rocks. The possibilities of the story – the shot, the fact that the man falls above the figure who holds the gun – are intriguing; the very lines of the etching burrowing deeper into our imagination the longer we gaze at the image.