According to gallery-owner Brook Dorsch, artist Kerry Ware paints because “he loves the way paint looks.” Dorsch must love the way Ware paints, because “whence,” Ware's fourth solo installation at the Dorsch Gallery in about as many years, opened two weeks ago. The bold collection of oversize, three-dimensional pieces shows off Ware's lengthy creative process and, as Dorsch notes, his “fussy brush strokes.”
Ware's predominant method has been painting on and manipulating (sanding, gouging) plaster panels (“chunks of plaster” says Dorsch) that he creates himself. In this show Ware moves from plaster to a broader range of surfaces and materials. The works that depart from his usual formula display his acute attention to detail and fascination with the subtleties of surface.
Perched in the room are four full-size pieces, plus three drawn studies of New Vibrations for an Old Galaxy, a sculpture that found Ware “drilling 2000 holes in my wall” quips Dorsch. Backside Front transforms a smaller work, which came about accidentally. While trying to develop a successful method for hanging his heavy plaster paintings, Ware was struck by the beauty of his purely utilitarian device: four pegs protruding from the back of a plaster chunk with a wire attached to two of the pegs. In the larger version, four posts of wood jut out from a blue square.
Influenced by artists such as Giorgio Morandi and Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, the thirtysomething Ware moved to Miami from Los Angeles to study with another master of abstract art and criticism, University of Miami's painting-division head Darby Bannard. A teacher of art and art appreciation at St. Patrick's Middle School, Ware understands that the visual often calls for aural accompaniment. This time around the sounds of the Norwegian band Supersilent, which Dorsch characterizes as “heavy, heavy, aggressive, very visceral music,” fill the gallery.
“Whence” marks the debut of the Dorsch Gallery's Project Room, a 1600-square-foot enclosure within the space. “I always envisioned splitting it into two galleries, so I could have the shows run longer,” explains Dorsch, who left his intimate lair atop a Coral Way pharmacy this past January to occupy this cavernous warehouse with a siren-red door near Miami's fashion district. Dorsch has been curating shows in Miami for nearly a decade. Offerings have included not only visual art but also performance art, avant-garde dance, video, music, and even a “noise orchestra” conducted by local auditory assault artist Frank “Rat Bastard” Falestra. If it all sounds eclectic and just a bit eccentric, the contemporary-art lover admits he has no desire to fill a niche. Rather his aim, he says, is to create “a sort of young museum.” Surveying the space around him with its art-hung walls and concrete floors, Dorsch suggests another advantage to his bigger digs: “Now I can Rollerblade in here!”