Roger Dorset

Great American Gallery

For the last 10 years Roger Dorset has obsessively sought the primal sources of art in the self, sexuality, and religion. Stripping away the languages of the market and the art school, he has achieved what he calls a “déjà vu language,” in which a viewer can recognize basic emotions, shared perceptions, or common experiences. Dorset’s work, often in the form of iconlike “shrines” or “reliquaries,” may seem to owe much to primitive or outsider art, but it is not based on imitation. Instead, he has compulsively simplified his content and his form of expression, so that his symbols and technique show extreme, pure states of fear, envy, desire, or awe—often mixed in a single work. Penile and vaginal forms occupy prominent places in many works, denoting both joyful and fearful sexuality. Some of the most striking pieces are, like Missionary, 1987, eccentrically shaped wooden forms heavily

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