Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just Look Inside: Javier Dones @ Arts Lofts

Arts Lofts Entrance

The Arts Lofts has been holding one man shows (with one exception so far) in the lobby area by the elevators. The entrance in the photo on the left leads to those elevators, and the show, which is on the second floor. Exhibited  is Javier Dones, who has a series of shadowboxes, framed in wood, and using various metals, some stressed, notably copper. These are fairly small works, maybe 8x10, whose size encourages intimacy with the viewer, since the viewing angle is fairly narrow.  The effect is like peering through a keyhole or small window into another world.

Javier T. Dones, "Inner Energy"

[The light levels in part of the lobby where the work is shown are abysmally low. In those sections I was barely able to get pictures. Apologies for the image quality.]

The press release says the work "...expresses the artist's innermost self-reflections...." and continues the legacy of Jack Lebowitz, who had a studio at the Lofts now used by Dones,, in which the latter acknowledged his debt to, and showed me some of Leibowitz' work. These are jewel-like works, abstract, but if one looks at them closely, suddenly it becomes evident that there are repeating organic forms and colors throughout the series.

Javier T. Dones, "Calm"

 Note the ribbon-like forms in this box. They look a little like palm fronds or grass. "Calm"  induces what its name suggests. Javier is not just an artist, but also a Physical Therapist, concerned with healthy mind/body states. In this box, there's only loosening tensions, but all is not placid and idyllic. This is more of a real-life calm, surrounded by other dynamic processes.

Javier T. Dones, "Open to Receive"

 An abstract of Receptivity. These boxes are so intriguingly attractive. The blues in this one are so carefully controlled. Javier, who is a native of Puerto Rico, said they are related to the blues of the warm Caribbean waters of La Isla del Encanto. Note all the folding shapes, how everything is echoed and connects. At the bottom of all three of the works reviewed so far, there is a wire curly-cue/spiral.

Javier T. Dones, "Keep"

 In "Keep", shown at left, the aqueous waveforms are doinant. They speak of cycles, and the wires arcing between passages in the sculpture are like connections between them.  Dones was influenced by artists from Puerto Rico and Cuba. I see traces of Modernist formal influences in his work, but he has infused them with the forms, rhythms and colors of the Tropics.

Javier Dones, "Bless"

 Some of the works shown are not shadowboxes. They are unframed metal works, like "Bless" on the right. Here we see the curves of palms, suggestions of boats and water. In all of these works there is an inescapable metaphysical aspect. Here, the textures or wrinkles in the metal become much more prominent than in  the shadowboxes. The radial ones lead the eye around the sculpture, interacting with the forms they intersect. Another beautiful contemplative object. Dones' benign, laid-back, good natured presence comes through clearly in his work.

Javier Dones

 Congratulations to Javier T. Dones and The Arts Lofts for a beautiful show that reminds us of the powerful intimacy of small-sized works. Artists draw from a lot of sources for their work, always relying to a degree on personal memory and experience. Javier integrates this seamlessly with his metal sculptures. A special note to Javier for being so open and helpful.

 --- Luis

See the show at Arts Lofts, 10 Fifth Ave North, St Petersburg.

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