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Dan Lam Blurs the Lines Between the Alluring and Grotesque in ‘Guttation’
December 11, 2023
Guttation is a botanical process that occurs when fungi or plants like grasses and ferns secrete sap from their pores. Small droplets of dew will emerge and then hang from fronds or leaves to help relieve the specimen of too much liquid accumulating in its roots.
Dallas-based artist Dan Lam evokes this vital act in an upcoming solo show at Hashimoto Contemporary in New York. Guttation comprises more than 60 of Lam’s signature drippy sculptures that take a turn toward the grotesque in comparison to previous bodies of work. Titled with biological names like “Gall,” “Gland,” and “Stomata,” the technicolor pieces vacillate between the unequivocally synthetic materials—resin, polyurethane, foam, and acrylic—and their gurgling, oozing forms.
While small, clear droplets cover some of the sculptures, others feature more mottled surfaces that veer toward revulsion. Thick, translucent glaze cloaks speckled works like “Stomata” and “Bark,” capturing her fascination with nature’s bizarre, unruly qualities and the potentially strange results of evolution and survival.
Guttation runs from December 16 to January 6. Find more of Lam’s work on her site and Instagram.
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