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b. 1952, United States

Dike Blair Biography

American artist Dike Blair's photorealistic paintings and carefully arranged sculptures depict the mundane in both a romantic and ironic way, playing with the liminal and transitory.

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Early Years

Blair was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He studied at the University of Colorado, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. In 1977, he received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Aside from his art practice, Blair has also published his writing in magazines such as Artforum, Bomb, and Parkett. He has worked as a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design since 1997.

Dike Blair Artworks

Photorealism

Dike Blair often works with oil and gouache to craft his photorealistic paintings. Drawn from his own photographs, Blair's artworks point towards his attention to the ordinary and mundane with a voice that is both romantic and ironic. Frequently leaving his works untitled, Blair has painted deadpan and vacant still lifes of cocktails, ashtrays, cups of coffee, and magazines.

The settings of these still lifes are normally transitory environments, such as motels, restaurants, lounges, and lobbies. Often featuring solitary objects, Blair's work implies a sense of loneliness and melancholy akin to the work of Edward Hopper.

In these works, Blair plays with light and depth. Many of his scenes are either lit by an artificial flash or through sunlight from a window. Aside from table settings and everyday objects and beverages, Blair has also painted detailed depictions of doors, edges of frames, windowsills, and reflective surfaces, pointing towards the effect of light on these facades and borders.

While simple and understated, the minute details in his paintings such as carpet patterns, table marbling, and brands tell the story of the American vernacular and common lived experiences.

Sculpture

Parallel to his photorealistic painting practice, Blair has also constructed sculptures by manipulating carpet, crates, and wires. These sculptures often house the paintings he has created, which he arranges along with his installation very deliberately. Blair's sculptural work is often compared to ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement that puts emphasis on harmony in simplicity.

(IN) in (2008) features a lit Noguchi lamp facing a standing crate with a painting of eyes on its reverse. These works of his evoke an attention to light, storage, and human intervention.

Exhibitions

Dike Blair has held solo exhibitions at Gagosian Gallery, New York; Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro; and SEAD Gallery, Antwerp. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; Whitney Museum of American Art; and Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Website

Blair's website can be found here.

Arianna Mercado | Ocula | 2022

Dike Blair
featured artworks

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Untitled by Dike Blair contemporary artwork painting
Dike Blair Untitled, 2020 Oil on aluminium
40.6 x 30.5 cm
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Untitled by Dike Blair contemporary artwork painting
Dike Blair Untitled, 2021 Oil on aluminium
61 x 45.7 cm
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Untitled by Dike Blair contemporary artwork painting
Dike Blair Untitled, 2023 Oil on aluminium
50.8 x 38.1 cm
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Untitled (Gloucester) by Dike Blair contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Dike Blair Untitled (Gloucester), 2021 Gouache and pencil on paper
61 x 46.1 cm
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Untitled (Gloucester) by Dike Blair contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, drawing
Dike Blair Untitled (Gloucester), 2021 Gouache and pencil on paper
46.1 x 61.3 cm
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Untitled by Dike Blair contemporary artwork painting
Dike Blair Untitled, 2019 Oil on aluminium panel
38.1 x 50.8 cm
The Modern Institute Request Price & Availability
Untitled by Dike Blair contemporary artwork painting
Dike Blair Untitled, 2019 Oil on aluminium panel
30.5 x 22.9 cm
The Modern Institute Request Price & Availability
Untitled by Dike Blair contemporary artwork painting
Dike Blair Untitled, 2019 Oil on aluminium panel
25.4 x 19.1 cm
The Modern Institute Request Price & Availability
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Dike Blair
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Karma contemporary art gallery in 188 E 2nd Street, New York, United States
Karma Los Angeles, New York
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