Art to Check out Saturday – Dominique Labauvie

Dominique Labauvie,Venus Walks, Forged steel, 133 X 144 X 68 inches

Summer time is traditionally a respite for the art world.  Collectors go to the Hamptons or something and artists get ready for August.  Galleries generally exhibit strong work from their stable of artists.  That’s NYC rules, though.  In Florida we like to disregard time and occasion and generally do whatever we want.  I swear I’ve caught myself saying “You mean like pants and shoes?” in response to being told I’d have to wear formal attire once.  Anyhow, our little art-cosm also slows down a bit during the summer.  It’s nice of Bleu Acier to interrupt the dog days with a quality exhibit.

Bleu Acier – Dominique Labauvie: A Gift From the River    Sat 6/23 2pm-6pm

Have you ever seen Radiohead at the New World Brewery?  No.  You haven’t.  That would be awesome, though, right?  Now, I’m not comparing Dominique Labauvie in art to Radiohead in music, but I’m sure you grasp my intention: it’s great seeing work in an intimate venue that deserves a large one.  In fact you may have seen Labauvie’s work in a large venue before – his sculpture’s are in the collections of several museums.  The first time I came across one of his sculpture’s was at the TMoA.

Labauvie works in steel, a medium often thought of as imposing and heavy.  However, I was surprised to see the sculptures light and nearly brittle despite its large size.  Dominique Labauvie’s work featured in A Gift From the River seems to produce the same effect.  The steel used for these new sculptures were sourced from Tampa’s old Columbus Drive bridge and date from 1925.  It’s interesting to note there are holes in the steel, that almost look decorative, left over from bolts that once held the structure together.  Particularly with knowledge of the steel’s origin, the structure of the sculptures at once gives the impression of referencing the body as well as architecture.  Perhaps the titles themselves refer to a grander architecture of heavenly bodies such as Galileo’s Moons and Venus Walks.  Regardless, Labauvie’s sculptures invite interpretation and allow for a multiplicity of it.  It’s a pleasure to walk around Dominique Labauvie’s sculptures.  I suggest taking advantage of the opportunity to do it in a venue that’s a bit more cozy.

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