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Lance Dehné’s Delivery

Aaron Zimmerman, NY Arts Magazine, Summer 2003

I don't need much from an image: bold color, a unique sense of form and light, and something that revives my purpose to make paintings. Lately I've craved it more and more. Maybe it's the war. Maybe it's the spring that is still winter here in New York. Whatever the case my needs were met and exceeded in Lance Dehné's show at 473 Broadway Gallery.

Lance created a poetic compromise between air and color, whimsy and analysis, organization and discombobulation, gravity and weightlessness. The pieces were handled with the sensibility of a sky writer on acid. I ran into the work of Miro's grandson in Carroll Dunham's Math class. Seeing his work was like looking at Swiss cheese creatures covered in Mardi Gras beads at the county air show. And I wasn't even high!

Metaphors aside, I'm always seduced by the successful duplication of light pouring through space. The "quick way out" vogue for pulling this off since the days of Monet has been an absence of forms. But Lance pulls it off with a cacophony. Congealing on flat fields of neutrality or resting above maps, his shapes dance around with a choreographed openness that allows rather than crowds.

What's more his systems of progression animate the madness methodically and maniacally. He creates audacity despite modesty in scale. And his sense of messiness is tempered by an intuitive perfectionism given only to scientific method gone wild.

I don't know how he does it. I'm envious and inspired.

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