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Finding sustenance

Dear Editor:Though I am unable to write my thoughts and feelings in a compelling way, I must express in prose regarding the art and character of Tania Dibbs, whose landscapes shimmer in Basalt’s Keating Gallery.Stunning? Effervescent? Mischievous. Mischievous?Tania Dibbs is no longer content to confront opaque eyes. She no longer assaults the misguided. Dibbs still lures the unwary, but now she mocks our inability to examine indistinct layers, too-innocent clouds or distant moraines, in short, to dance and sway in her mental rooms.Tania Dibbs may be characterized as the latest in the short list of Aspen women which began with Gillespie in 1880, the illustrious Elizabeth Paepcke, continued with Madge Durrance and gently missed by me, Claire Sandersen, indefatigable fighter for peace and justice.Tania Dibbs is no street fighter, no counterfeit corrupting what once was great. (Summon to mind that erstwhile, luminous “Aspen Ideal.”) “Art is a lie that makes us realize truth,” as Picasso said. But Dibbs’ creations of nature’s subliminal realities speak to a philosophic idealism that summons one’s primal identity from its slumber.I was first struck by Dibbs’ works at the Barney Wyckoff Gallery in ’96. Her “Squinting Toward Infinity” broods in my subconscious. I look at it for peace which still casts its spell.Today, Dibbs has moved to new ground and gravity. She offers risks for we who elect certainty. She sees what we do not, or refuse. But, in honesty, it took a prolonged visit with Gordon Keating who suggested I sit down to truly see, to stand at angles to be astonished.And that is where the mischievous Dibbs began to beguile my preconceptions, those “quick to decide” walls erected so I am protected by ignorance and comfort. For years, Tania Dibbs painted without full commitment. Then she risked its peculiar gifts that lead to growth, courage and spontaneity.”On one level, I am still painting the obvious,” Tania writes, “on another there is the interplay of pigment, texture and accident that evokes more of what is art in landscape.” Two paintings, “Twilight Falling” and “Terra Sky,” stood my senses on end when I began to countenance their mysteries. When Keating turned gallery lights on, up or off, I peered into the hidden. Somber clouds reach across azure skies like a swollen crocodile. One misses surprise with the momentary glimpse.One may hurry to the gallery as her works have sold too fast or one may call upon the Internet to quench curiosity. Taniadibbs.com may serve the dilettante or the serious. Or, like this observer who once took action, the unpredictable happened, possibility occurred and a plebeian life found sustenance.Robert NashGrand Junction


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