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[from the introduction to ARTIFACTS II Catalog:]

Roz Dimon’s new series of drawings, cleverly titled to suggest a world within and beyond the factuality of everyday objects, is wonderfully creative in form and content. What may be said about these objects, these simple utensils and tools, as a category of subject matter?  We are well past the time when a soup can by Warhol or a clothespin or plunger by Oldenburg carried as part of their punch the triumph of the familiar as fine art. Indeed, we were past it with Duchamp, but in these drawings by Dimon (which in style recall Oldenburg clearly enough) the objects seem personal mementos rather than public gestures, and in that regard more like motifs in Picasso still lifes and in the imaginary worlds of Miró or Klee. However, what makes Dimon’s objects personal and intimate is not their selection or even transformation but the way her hand has eagerly fussed over them, and drawn out certain qualities and personalities. Thus, Knife El Classico has a perky, fashion-model giddiness, which is quite unlike the Gothic thorniness of the candle snuffer (Snuff No. 4) or the tortured remains (hardly just foam) on the cruciform “safety” razor (Hold That Blade Gillette). These last two objects appear to have come from the same culture that gave us Grünewald and Grosz, but the silverware seems more likely descended from Fragonard and Dufy. By contrast, the open safety pin (Safety Lost) comes from no culture at all, unless it is extraterrestrial. 


Drawings in Artifacts II were made using a stylus pen on a computer tablet, with software made for that purpose. This medium records the artist’s hand every bit as much as traditional drawings and paintings do, except that each added line, touch, tone, and so on is made in a different “layer” on the screen and can be deleted rather than repainted or erased. Also, high resolution allows printing on any scale, within reason – just imagine if Goya could have said about one of his Caprichos, “this one deserves to be six feet high.” The medium also allows for color, tones and all kinds of effects, but in this series the artist has kept it simple and close to the hand. There is a nice coincidence between the use of her stylus and the usefulness of these objects: draw a picture, peel a potato, stick or slice a steak, trim a sideburn, snuff a flame.


Dimon has done very tactile paintings and energetic drawings for years, some devoted to Pop objects (like toothpaste tubes) or one of her favorite subjects, the pencil. However, the present drawings also go back to her digital paintings or DIMONscapes®, multilayered collages that recall or dream of places, people, events, and universal themes. In the mid-1990s these reminded me of Rembrandt as an experimental etcher, going beyond the fixity and precision of woodcuts and engravings to create more varied and evocative effects. The nervous lines and smeared tones of Dimon’s drawings really resemble the handling of stylus and ink in Rembrandt’s etchings, which likewise went through various states and kept evolving. In the DIMONscapes® we have mosaics for our own age, and in the Artifacts II drawings, something as timeless as cave paintings or Picasso prints. Whatever the medium, it is still the artist’s eye, hand, and imagination that makes one stop and stare.


Walter Liedtke, Curator of European Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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