Sketch reveals insight into Dusti Bongé exhibition

My friends at the Dusti Bongé Art Foundation in Biloxi, MS have a new exhibition on site. This artwork relates directly to it. I’ll let Dusti Bongé Art Foundation Executive Director Ligia M. Römer share the details as always.

Dusti Bongé, Untitled (Marbleized Abstract), c. 1988, ink on paper, 8 1/4” x 5 1/4”

Still continuing on the sketchbook theme, here we have a sheet torn out of a spiral bound sketchbook.

Sometimes Dusti Bongé would tear a page out of one of her sketchbooks if she liked what she had created. At first sight that appears to be the case here. However, it is not quite so, as this piece could not have been created in a sketchbook, but had to be torn out first. As you can see it is in fact a piece of marbleized paper.

This particular work is the result of the collaboration and experimentation that Dusti did with her good friend and fellow abstract artist Joey Rice. In the 1980s Dusti and Joey started exploring different creative techniques beyond painting and one of these was marbling paper.

Rather than aiming for the typical, overwrought, swirling, bright color patterns evenly spread across the paper, they created distinct compositions with jagged edges, black lacquer ink or sparse, yet rich, colors. They didn’t simply twirl around the medium on the surface of the water to create pretty patterns, but manipulated the medium, to the extent possible, into more formal abstract arrangements. 

As you can see in this work, the marbling is very well placed on the paper at the diagonal, creating a dynamic composition. It does not cover the full sheet with an all-over design, but instead has an interplay of foreground and background with the black ink spots creating focal moments within the gray marbling.

Celebrating this spirit of collaboration, experimentation and inspiration among artists, we are happy to announce our next show, “Dusti Bongé, Lyle Bongé, Paul Bongé and Joey Rice” on view through May 31, 2023.

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