Leslie Sacks Contemporary is pleased to announce its participation in Pacific Standard Time, an initiative of the Getty Research Institute, with an exhibition of works by Los Angeles artist Guy Dill, entitled A 1970’s Dialogue with Materials.
The works featured in the exhibition will be on loan from Southern California institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Orange County Museum of Art. These major works illustrate Guy Dill’s approach to materials as they relate to both engineering and composition, and demonstrate the artist’s individual trajectory apart from the "Finish Fetish" and "Light and Space" movements that emerged in Los Angeles in the 1970’s.
While the Finish Fetish artists were looking at synthetic materials such as resin, fiberglass and plastics, Guy Dill chose to work with raw, natural materials, highlighting their inherent structural and aesthetic qualities. His belief in using “material for materials’ sake” meant forsaking heightened manipulation in favor of material purity. He preserved elements in their original state, ensuring that each piece could be broken down into re-usable parts that might be rearranged and rebuilt with a new identity as dictated by their whole. Untitled 1970 shows the artist’s use of raw blocks of wood and sections of rope to create a post tensioned work that is both revealing and refined, achieving its electric impact through the fragility of its suspension.
Guy Dill’s pieces from this period interact with their surrounding architecture in visceral ways, creating a dynamic context of balance, support, energy and tension. By pushing and pulling on walls, ceilings and floors, his pieces activate and enliven their space, making viewers aware of the architecture’s role in supporting the structural integrity of the sculpture. I n M a r y 1970, elements of the work are kept hovering at the edge of deconstruction, with the removal of any element threatening the safety of the work and the viewer alike. This partnership between architecture and sculpture was both structurally and visually essential, a fact recognized when Guy Dill’s work was included in the 2005 exhibition chronicling Frank Gehry’s influences, West! Frank Gehry and the Artists of Venice Beach, 1962-1978, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Guy Dill’s work existed alongside and beyond the major movements taking place in Los Angeles during the 1970s. His innovation was influential and the impact of his practice was prominent in 1974 and 1976 exhibitions at The Pace Gallery, New York. Keeping studios in both New York and Los Angeles, he interacted with artists from both coasts and continues to be a part of the larger dialogue of American contemporary art.