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Zeit: RIFF: Lines of inquiry

"White on Blue Lines," by artist Derek Dunlop
Courtesy of Satellite Contemporary

"White on Blue Lines," by artist Derek Dunlop

Look at this piece, “White on Blue Lines,” by artist Derek Dunlop (in the Satellite Contemporary Gallery through September 12). So ridiculously simple, right? Yet I keep puzzling over it. Is Dunlop trying to symbolically  erase the ruled lines? (So why not make the white opaque?) Is he trying to  call attention to the lines? Mimic them? Replace the machine-made lines with hand-drawn ones, hoping to assert the appeal of the human — but with the translucence of the his lines allowing the machined lines to show through as a reminder that the machine never goes away? Or does it perhaps have nothing to do with content, but rather form? Is the artist just trying to draw long white lines and needed the ruled lines as a guide? Does he just like the look of thick, slightly imperfect white lines with a thinner, perfect blue line down the middle? So simple, yet so many questions! But that, of course, is the fun of it.

(Editor's note: Scott Dickensheets no longer works for Nevada Public Radio)