New York

Guy Dill

Pace | 32 East 57th Street

The odd mixture of refined elegance and rigorous Constructivism is what gives Guy Dill’s sculpture its edge. The mixture has usually produced Art Deco-like results (Stella, Lichtenstein), but Dill adds precariousness to elegance and formality. His work executed in huge glass plates and concrete, with the glass standing on edge, kept the viewer apprehensive contemplating the physical feat, but without any melodramatic effect. They were fascinatingly insecure.

The work he showed at Pace is smaller than things of his I’ve seen in Los Angeles. In LA you can do anything giant size, in New York I suppose it had to get through small doorways and into cramped spaces. It was thus much less successful (much of the excitement is gone when the glass is not imminently in danger) but still very much worthwhile. There were two free-standing pieces which were rehashes of the older work, but lacking the aforementioned edge. Both were made of concrete, glass and formica. One was installed in the most odd way so that you couldn’t really walk all around it. Deliberate or space consideration? The other one had two glass plates not attached to each other but just resting there, touching. All the other “sculptures” were really on the wall, though they also touched the floor at at least one point. Pinky, the best of the bunch, was typically constructed of glass, steel, steel painted with enamel, its planes arranged in dynamic interaction. They were all held to the wall with a metal bar which traversed the entire length of the sculpture and was fastened with eyehooks. In Pinky, there was a marvelous trompe l’oeil effect created with overlapping planes in bright colors obscured by very tricky placement of a white enameled metal plane and a glass plate. The work which seemed weakest relied too much upon associations with Stella’s work (not the latest aluminum work, but the heterogeneous relief paintings). Dill rarely slips into that Art Deco parody style because he never uses any wild colors. He sustains himself with transparency, glossy and direct primaries and black and white. It is a clear, crisp style.

––Jeff Perrone