Seeing Rockford artist Diane Rose Dailing’s art is like discovering newly uncovered drawings and sculpture from some uncertain ancient time, yet it also is like discovering fresh contemporary works that capture the classic beauty and alluring characteristics of the human figure. Dailing’s expressive, figurative drawings and sculpture can be seen starting Friday, Feb. 6, in an exhibition titled “Captured” at the Kortman Gallery in downtown Rockford.
Dailing, who has been creating drawings all her life, became intrigued with Pre-Columbian clay heads when she received a clay “trophy head” as a gift.
“Clay heads were created to represent the number of the enemy killed in battle,” explains Dailing. “They look alike, anonymous and impersonal, and not all of those conquered were killed. Some were enslaved. This ancient idea of capturing a person in a work of art intrigued me, since this is what inspires me with my drawings and my sculpture.”
Dailing’s exhibition features both drawings of the human figure and sculpted clay heads that are more abstract than realistic. The small clay faces she presents in her show are people whose essence she strove to capture.
“Some are actual acquaintances, some are people observed from afar, some are imaginary,” says Dailing. “I envisioned them looking stunned and defeated as I stole their likeness. My pieces in the exhibit represent people in the abstract, like the Pre-Hispanic clay figure that inspired me, but they are also captured objects, hung on the wall as hunters do their trophies.”
Doc Slafkosky, gallerist for the Kortman Gallery, says: “Diane’s art is at once classic and contemporary. She’s a very talented artist who brings a mature style and sophistication to the Kortman Gallery.”
Dailing received bachelor’s, master’s and master of fine arts degrees in studio art from the University of Iowa, with figure drawing as her area of emphasis. She has taught art in private and public schools, the Davenport Art Museum, Rockford Art Museum, and drawing classes at Black Hawk College and Rock Valley College.
The Dailing exhibition, “Captured,” will be will be on display through March 31.The First Friday, Feb. 6, opening reception will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The Kortman Gallery is upstairs at J.R. Kortman Center for Design, 107 N. Main St. Call (815) 968-0123 or visit www.jrkortman.com.
From the Feb. 4-10, 2015, issue