Monica Dixon's non-places

At MH Art Gallery, the artist proposes a route through spaces without identity, built only with light and shadows.

El Correo – 06-15-2018

Bilbao.  Monica Dixon invites us, literally, to enter her works, to walk around naked stages endowed with depth and mystery. The exhibition of MH Art Gailery in Bilbao, recently inaugurated (until July 28th), seems to be a crossroads of uninhabitable places. But, if one approaches her lines, one can almost hear the echo of lost steps. The artist, of Spanish and American origin, confesses a progressive dispossession that has led to the creation of apparently neutral spaces, where the cultural presence and physical absence of the individual coexist in a strange harmony. "I'm looking for the concept of the void, built with light and shadows, to propose a reflection", she says. "Now that we are surrounded by so many things, we need to meet ourselves and, with this aim, I have been giving everything away, even the colour".
Not the man, but his legacy. The interiors evoke aseptic contemporary architectures, those areas of transit in which we remain for much of our lives, yet they do not seem to leave a mark on our memory. ‘Scenes of nowhere', the title of the exhibition, refers to these non-places, a term coined by anthropologist Marc Augé, but also to fictitious environments arising from the production of scale models.

"Playing on the edge"

Dixon's extreme sobriety leads her to a suggestive territory, bordering on figuration and geometric abstraction. "I like to play on the edge," he confesses. "I'm not looking for hyperrealism, but to paint with light, to exaggerate the shadow to contrast." In addition to researching shapes with extreme precision, the painter creates luminous atmospheres that refer to existential concerns. "Maybe what's going on is that we don't know where we're going," he says. "Being in a gray zone is a characteristic of the time we live in."
The poetics of none and any place of the artist can be related to this time and to her own condition, between New Jersey and Asturias, straddling two identities. The work of this author seems to be the updating of those concerns of romantic authors such as William Turner or Caspar David Friedrich, capable of translating their emotional states into nature. In this case, the author resorts to disheartened corridors and shady rooms to account for her intimate concerns. "You don't know where you're from, perhaps from all places, and that situation gives you a loneliness and melancholy that comes to the surface in your work," she confesses, although she also acknowledges that this plastic translation is not voluntary. "It is not a conscious reflection, you make a path and discover it afterwards, when you observe what you have created”.