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Drew Daly: Visual Friction
by Suzanne Beal

For Drew Daly, life has been a series of repetitive gestures: first, at age 14, as a baker’s assistant lining up loaves of bread, later as a scholarship swimmer perfecting his stroke, then as a production potter producing cup after identical cup, bowl after bowl. As a sculptor, the Seattle artist has used repetition to find inspiration in often-overlooked objects such as furniture, basketballs, and his own photographic self-portraits. Daly might shrink his subjects to near nothingness or expand them ad infinitum, but his real power lies in making utter mysteries out of objects that we assume we know inside and out.

“Visual Fiction,” Daly’s first show since 2007, used the basketball as its central focus and was the result of a two-year effort to capture a single moment in time. Basketball, as a game, is characterized by power, strength, speed, and precision, with the ball being rapidly passed from player to player before being sunk through a suspended hoop. In the excitement of the game, the ball ironically remains both seen and unseen. Constantly in motion, it ushers the game forward, yet all the while, like an eclipse, it defies direct observation.

Compression, 2006.
Bureau, adhesive, and lacquer, 34 x 36 x 20.5 in.

Image: Jim Wilcox, Courtesy Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle


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