Meditating on the passage of time, the show presents work that is a result of the inevitable interplay between an artist’s solitary workings in her studio and those of a turmoiled outside world. Many works in the exhibition—including several paintings on handmade paper and repurposed medicine and art supply boxes—are small and portable, made between 2021 and Spring, 2023 at points during the pandemic when travel to visit family was possible but meant a lack of studio. Earlier works, 2021 and 2022 memorialize the rapid changes and prolonged grief of the last several years, layering words that became newly charged—sourdough and shelter—with the names of those who succumbed to the virus in the early stages of the pandemic in 2020.
While serious in subject matter, Dubinsky’s work is also intuitive and playful—a metaphor for a multifaceted life. The medicine boxes, for example, while chosen for their idiosyncratic shapes when deconstructed and made supports for painting, are also a byproduct of the increased use of over-the-counter medications by an aging artist. On these informal surfaces, Dubinsky layers wildly colorful and sometimes repellant mixes of gesso, ink, pencil, crayon, and gouache, employing an experimental blend of painting and printmaking techniques.
The largest work in this exhibition, a monotype titled Anguish (2022), was begun to augment a series of smaller individual works already in progress when Ukraine was invaded by Russia in February 2022 and left much of the world stunned, horrified, and immobilized. Working in her studio as the violence in Eastern Europe escalated, Dubinsky found herself assembling a new work in reaction to the conflict, its resulting migrations, and thinking of her mother.