Dario Morales, Aberbach Fine Art, New York City (1980s)



 While his work combines solid academic training and a liking for Degas, Ingres and Manzu, themes of sex and death dominate the able realist sculpture and drawings of Dario Morales, giving them unique and troubling force.


 If sleep is the sister of death, then in large drawings and one life-sized bronze, ostensibly. sleeping nude women slide, twist and thrash in moribund reverie. Emphasizing the pubic area as the psychological and compositional focus, Morales expresses, in a single graphic image, the conjunction of two seemingly opposite yet intimately related experiences... sex and death.


 Small sculptures of copulating couples, heads and hands of the male missing, speak of violence and mindless abandonment to sexuality as an escape from contemporary sterility. Life-sized bronze nudes, headless, limbless, their stumps caught in webs of fabric--trapped by the exigencies of life--tell of mutilation and victimization of women and the life-force she represents.


 The overt or implied violence of these works contrasts oddly with classical control and poetic intimacy in others: bathers and female models in sculptural tableaus undressing for the already nude artist.


 Since sexual tension and activity can increase in times of personal and societal stress (war-time baby booms, contemporary pornography) as attempted antidote to feelings of alienation and fear of death (here is the link between the two), one may see Morales' effective, disturbing works as representing not only the artist's struggle with elemental forces, swaying pendulum like between extremes of license and harmony, expressionism and classicism, but that of modern, industrial man seeking to transcend contemporary imbalance and attain wholeness of spirit.

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