Galerie Fatiha Selam » Sophia DIXON DILLO



Until February 20th



Read the press release

Galerie Fatiha Selam is happy and proud to welcome the first solo French exhibition of American artist, Sophia Dixon Dilllo, living in Colorado, USA. The exhibition, “Light and Form” presents the artist’s most current research: to make light visible. The exposition displays both installations of fishing line, appearing as tensely stretched of sails and some paper works to which the cut relief motifs appear personal to each spectator.


Sophia Dixon Dillo: Pathways of Light
It is a question without end, dating back to ancient times, that surrounds this indefinable phenomenon: light. From Plato considering rays of light emitted by the eyes and intercepted by the object to the wave theory of Christian Huygens, and later that of Isaac Newton, for whom light beams are a succession of light grains, each new hypothesis has had the ambition to capture the elusive nature of light.
Can we expect from artists a more experientially accessible approach? From Georges de la Tour to the impressionists then to the cinematic arts, each has attempted to formulate their own answers. Today the emerging American artist, Sophia Dixon Dillo, carries forward the history of this cultural task by implementing her personal vision of this physical enigma at Galerie Fatiha Selam in Paris, a site-specific installation that connects the gallery space to the paper plane.

Light Installation
Using the unique material of extremely fine fishing line, the artist spins a web in space, tracing vectors between the walls of the gallery. These appear in our field of vision as fragile sails that remain almost invisible, but through natural or artificial lighting the impalpable wave of its presence is revealed to us. The cinematic artist Jesus Rafael Soto claims that immateriality is the definitive element in his work. We are faced with new qualities of this kind in Sophia Dixon Dillo’s light installation, where our perception must distinguish between the physical reality of the linear tension and the immaterial sensation created by the veil. Adding to and evolving from Soto, another parameter appears: this production realizes itself as an activity. The artist will work with 35 km of fishing line to create this thread installation. What is a ritual of repetitive activity for the artist becomes a perceptual activity for the viewer that can lead to an active exploration of the immaterial process of perception and attention.

An Attentional Path
Sophia Dixon Dillo, with the meticulous patience of creators of medieval illuminations, finely draws on paper with a thin blade, and, as our attention is drawn to the minutiae of these incisions, we travel with her in an incessant ritual. As we are invited into a careful study of these miniatures, a dance of highlights and subtle shadows emerges. Each piece has a pattern of its own and creates a new sensation in us. Just like the woven wire in its marking of space, the trajectory of these paper works seems unlimited, materialized by traces that are constantly renewing themselves. From one work to the next, this endless mark made on the plane, the furrow dug into the support, the incisions cut into the paper continues.

Zen and Quiet
Sophia Dixon Dillo lives with her husband at Crestone Mountain Zen Center, located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado, one of the most secluded places in the United States. Growing up in California where she was born, Sophia Dixon Dillo lived in what her friends called ‘the quiet house.’ Her father, an artist and Buddhist himself, did not talk a lot about his practice, “but it informed my worldview and the atmosphere I grew up in” she recalls. Her lifelong connection with Zen is the background for central aspects of her work: the use of materials that shift and change in appearance, the exploration of the process of perception, her affinity to impermanence and elusiveness. Ultimately, her work becomes a meditation in itself: a ritual of repetition and an invitation to bring attention to attention itself.

Claude Guibert

Sophia Dixon Dillo, born in 1977, is an American artist living in Colorado who uses light as an active medium in her work. She grew up watching her father, artist Willard Dixon, paint in his studio. Struck by the power and simplicity of Mark Rothko’s paintings, she began to explore abstract painting in her early artist years. She began to work with light as a medium during her graduate studies at Colorado State University. It was there that she first linked together sculpture, painting and light, ultimately leading her away from the traditional means of painting.

Dillo is intrigued with how light can be both visible and invisible at the same time – always present, yet not always seen. Her works play with this internal contradiction in the nature of light. Through large-scale installations as well as minimal wall works, Dillo actively engages with this internal contradiction in the nature of light, between the materiality of the art object and the immateriality of light. As a result, the transparent, translucent, and reflective materials, in combination with all-over patterning to create works that incorporate light and shadow on and between the surfaces. The result is the fusing of the materiality of art object with the immateriality of light, creating a multivalent visual experience that subtly changes as the viewer moves. Her work invites viewers to step out of usual mind of narrative thinking and into the field of the mind itself.

Dillo received a MFA from Colorado State University, studied at the Lacoste Ecole des Arts, and received her BA in Philosophy from Colorado College. She has exhibited throughout the U.S. and is collected internationally. Most recently she has exhibited at venues such as the Calvin Klein Collection in New York for the holiday installation, the Arvada Center for the Arts in Colorado, and at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery in Los Angeles. Her recent solo exhibition at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery in Los Angeles was chosen as ‘Pick of the Week’ by ArtWeek.LA and as a ‘Best Pick’ by collector Doug Simay.