Santa Monica College:
Joseph Dumbacher and John Dumbacher
In “line-of-site,” Joseph Dumbacher and John Dumbacher have crafted an installation about geometry and perception. It is minimal and simultaneously maximal, suggesting expansive possibilities with limited materials. The brothers (who are fraternal twins) have filled the gallery space with one drawing, one floor sculpture and six site-specific wall works exploring the architecture of the space with varying configurations of entire rolls of 21 inch by 33 foot black wallpaper. Using cut sections of wallpaper as a drawing material and the walls as a background, the Dumbachers have created a compelling installation of bold black lines and shapes.
To make drawings such as #649 pull (2014), one brother holds a marker, while the other pulls a large piece of white paper vertically or horizontally, resulting in a sequence of lines across the paper that fade as the marker dries. The algorithm for creating such drawings is expanded upon in this installation where the brothers experiment with the possible shapes that can be assembled from a fixed length of material.
The Dumbacher’s architecturally scaled works explore relationships between light and dark shapes as manifested through the creation of positive and negative space. #743, double roll (two), 2017, stretches across most of the lower third of the back wall, appearing as two wide horizontal stripes separated by a thin white space. The reflection on the gallery floor makes viewers aware of the proportions of the room and how the black lines inhabit the white wall— a commanding presence. Sections of wallpaper are used to create squares, steps, triangles and trapezoids, each shape specifically positioned on or across an expanse of wall. At first glance all the geometry appears faultless, but in many cases, for example #744 or #745, the angles and edges are often purposely askew.
Working within the parameters of precise geometry, the Dumbachers offer playful interventions— subverting predictable vanishing points or not quite paralleling a line of floor molding to create inventive shapes that are refreshingly puzzling in how they conform to or contrast the existing architecture.
Joseph Dumbacher and John Dumbacher, “line-of-site,” September 5 – October 14, 2017 at The Santa Monica College Pete and Susan Barrett Art Gallery, 1310 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401, www.smc.edu/Barrett