John Dahlsen explores the duality of meaning and perception, and the illusion that is created in between. He presents an image of a non-object in a painting of an informal formalist sculpture. His paintings depict the profile of a solid sculpture, moulded and plied to present the essence of formalism. The subject of the paintings, exhibit abstract geometrical imagery and constructivist diagramming of space, that is playfully organic and blob-like.
Yet the works are paintings of these organic man-made blob sculptures. The work considers cycles and recycling in re-presenting paintings of sculptures that are inherently plastic fabricator machine end waste. The use of plastic materials and their place in the evolutionary motions of recycling are important to Dahlsen in constructing these images.
He explores the mechanics of how an object is put together, what place it occupies in a cycle of life; organic or man-made. Dahlsen's choice of materials has as much prominence as the end product.
These new works are a collection of oil and acrylic on canvas and oil and acrylic on linen, works on paper, installations, sculptures and encaustic works and are the life-affirming results of what happens when an accomplished artist steps back from the place where he's been and moves confidently, and with purpose, in another direction.
The work concentrates on cycles, momentum and the multiple. He is painting nonrecyclable purged plastic objects. These objects are by products of everything plastic, they are the plastic run before or after a hairbrush, juice bottle or chair is made. They represent everything and nothing. The plastic in it's petroleum state has undergone millions of years of evolution to get to this stage and then, it is discarded as a by product of societal needs.
For many years Dahlsen constructed artworks from detritus found on the eastern shores of Australia. He took society's discarded objects of the everyday and transformed them into formal compositions. He would often take thousands of black objects and arrange a formalist composition that questioned our need for mass production of the everyday. By presenting the discarded objects in a formalist composition he acknowledged the endless waste in producing ancillary items that support our everyday existence.