New York

Dalia Ramanauskas

Hundred Acres Gallery

Dalia Ramanauskas’ drawings of torn and opened cardboard cartons are Realist renderings of garbage as well. Unlike Economos’ cans, which are sited in nature, Ramanauskas draws boxes upon a white ground. She renders details with a meticulousness that makes her boxes perhaps more compelling than their actual presences. There is a stillness and an absoluteness about her objects, an outgrowth of placeless pose and consuming detail that makes them, like the still-life elements in Northern Renaissance painting, repositories of meaning. 

Ramanauskas’ boxes are mostly relics of private correspondence, records of an artist’s garbage. The boxes are revealed in the handling they have received as mail. Almost all are battered and torn, showing a passage from hand to hand as components in an exchange system. The transference of the boxes into drawn images is the last exchange; their protecting function served, they have been painstakingly assumed into the precincts of art as functionless objects, surnamed garbage. 

The artist’s careful renderings bespeak a degree of sympathy with her subjects which is easy to use as a conceptual bridge to intuit figural groups in some of the drawings—flaps imply human limbs, and the composition an enciphered conversation. The rough treatment accorded the objects of Ramanauskas’ drawings holds an irony about what seems a consistent human impulse: shredding the container to get at content. 

Alan Moore