Julia Dault's taut and tense sculptures are ready to spring open from their trappings. Plexi materials strain at their containment, contorted and controlled by strings and boxing glove strapping, liable to run away at any moment. Dault's sculptures insist on the hand, indeed the body, of the artist herself. Each is assembled individually and literally bent to the artist's will - signs of the struggle are evident and in the marks and scratches on the materials' surface. This specificity of time, space, and body is emphasized further through titles such as Untitled 21, 10:30 am - 4:30 pm, June 10 ; thus marking each work with the exact date and time of their making (note that some are slower to make than others due to the length of time that the artist has wrestled with the materials) and revealing some of the inherent pragmatism of her practice - if an assistant is to help make the piece, their name is entered into the title of the work.
The performative action of their creation is matched by a sheer joy in material aesthetic quality. In assemblage, mundane and industrially produced materials such as Plexiglas and Formica are transformed into swathes of colour, from flat plane to cylindrical form, cutting volumes out of space in an almost architectural gesture. Counterpointing opacity and translucency the objects summon both delicacy and robustness. As such Dault reboots a minimalist art historical inheritance luxuriating in plastic sheens and metallic reflections through a uniquely synthetic palette in a form of, what she terms, ’dirty Minimalism’.
© Natasha Hoare, 2015