Dusti Bongé painting miniatures

When thinking about the Dusti Bongé painting shared with us by the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation this week, keep in mind its size. Two-and-three-eights inches square. The size of a Post-it Note. Marvel at all the composition and color and interest she’s able to squeeze in that tiny space.

As always, our analysis of this Dusti Bongé painting comes from Ligia M. Römer, Executive Director for the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Untitled (Blue, Green and Purple Abstract)​, 1975, acrylic on paper, 2 3/8” x 2 3/8”

This week once again we offer a work from the 1970s. Much like the work we shared last week, this piece too has a certain minimalist quality. Although Dusti Bongé herself never referred to any of her work as minimalist, she definitely did forever pursue new approaches to abstraction. During the 1970s, these included playing with gridded arrangements, monochromatic compositions, and very small works or miniatures.

This is one of several miniatures she produced during that time period. These tiny works show Dusti’s skill in creating a complete work of art with the fewest marks possible. The creative process of painting is reduced down to its most basic action, making a mark, and the painting itself is distilled to its most essential constituents, color and composition. Unlike the large Abstract Expressionist works with robust gestures and many bold marks, these small works are almost an exercise in restraint. 

Here, out of a piece of paper the size of a Post-it Note, Dusti manages to forge an actual work of art with just a few strokes of blue, green, and purple and a mere hint of white. The subtle layering of the colors creates a sense of depth and movement. Hence, regardless of how small the overall composition is and how few marks the artist actually laid down on the paper, the work is alive and keeps the viewer engaged.

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