DALE WILLIAMS
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"House of the Tragic Poet"
Group of 125 drawings, brown chalk on brown or gray paper, 12" x 9", 2008
Selected images

Most of the drawings show an urban landscape or interior populated by a single figure. There is a mood throughout of antic despondency, of things aged and fallen apart. Some drawings contain vestiges of the poet's art: paper strewn about the floor of a room or trampled underfoot along a street. These discarded poems suggest an indifference to the efforts of art. The motif of ideals abandoned is central to the series.

The world of the tragic poet is metaphor for an alternative view of our shared reality. It is a sympathetic environment for the affliction of moldering optimism. An awareness of political ineffectualness is ever-present: the protagonist in the drawings often wears the traditional cap of liberty, the Phrygian cap, le bonnet rouge of the French Revolution. It is a symbolic connection to triumphs and ideals that seem long lost. “House of the Tragic Poet” presents a limbo world, a waiting place with no expectation of redemption, yet hobbled together out of various artifacts of hope.

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