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Arkansas artist George Dombek’s fascination with barns began in 1970s Florida, where he captured the geometry of sun and shadow on deteriorating tobacco barns, and he has returned to the subject often in the decades since. For this most recent series, Dombek traveled over a three-year period to remote pastures in all seventy-five Arkansas counties. The barns he found were perhaps unremarkable in themselves—they are, after all ubiquitous and utilitarian objects—but Dombek’s interpretations reveal an intricacy of character that’s no less diverse than that of human portraiture.
Dombek, who is trained as an architect, uses his watercolors to build up shadows and textures over geometric compositions in a style he calls “Constructed Realism.” To his technical virtuosity he adds humor, pathos, dignity, and reverence as well, creating no less than a visual eulogy to these buildings and their rusting contents.