Dusti Bongé ‘Flying Sea Gulls’ plate

Another wonderful, joyous, vibrantly colored plate design from Dusti Bongé this week as part of See Great Art’s partnership with the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation in Biloxi, MS. Like the previous examples, this one also has a Gulf Coast theme.

What a treat it would be having these plates in your home and bringing them out for special occasions and telling the story of Dusti Bongé, as DBAF Executive Director Ligia M. Römer does for us here.

Dusti Bongé, Flying Sea Gulls Plate, c. 1939, pastel on paper, 14” x 12”

This week’s choice from the series of “Plate Designs” by Dusti Bongé sets a spring mood, with its soaring birds, and blue sky. More importantly, it is a perfect study in abstraction, and of Dusti’ss innate ability to express the world around her in unexpected ways.

Here we have a brilliant radial plate composition with highly abstracted and stylized seagulls soaring through a blue sky.

Some of these plate designs served as an exercise in early forms of abstraction for Dusti. This is particularly true for the radial compositions.

Dusti welcomed the challenge of having to adapt familiar elements to the confines of the circular form. The circle required that the subject be manipulated to conform to its imposed boundaries. The radial arrangement around a central point within the circle, in particular often encouraged her to reduce a subject’s form to its most essential elements in order to arrange in a highly abstracted, repetitive pattern.

The echoing of the almost angular wing spread in the blue lines of the sky shows the dynamism of seagulls riding the thermals, circling overhead to conserve energy while they watch and wait to pounce on unsuspecting prey, or miscellaneous human food discards, below.

Watching seagulls do this is indeed a sight to behold and Dusti totally captures it in this 10” circular composition. Thus, despite the restrictive nature of radial symmetry, Dusti manages to create a very active, energetic composition.

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