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Dahlke Exhibition at Mango Tango

Feb. 22, 2006 – Mango Tango Art Gallery proudly hosts the Don Dahlke Art Exhibition on Friday, Feb. 24, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The artist has spent two years preparing for this show, which includes his celebrated window and door oil-on-canvas paintings, and experimental works in paintings, drawings, and a debut of remarkable sculpture. Limited edition giclee prints on canvas of his architectural works will also will be on view.
Dahlke is one of the most highly admired and collected artists of the Caribbean. He initially won a loyal client base in the Virgin Islands. He moved to the islands from Portland, Oregon. He and his family lived first in St. Kitts. Later they made St. Croix their home base for several years. Mango Tango began working with him when the gallery opened 16 years ago.
Mango Tango co-owner, Jane Coombes observes that "Dahlke is a constantly evolving artist. He never has settled on a single métier." Concerning his architectural paintings, Dahlke explains that his early paintings were the depiction of the feeling he experienced when he saw a West Indian house in the late afternoon with "an elongated shadow vibrating across an open window. The feeling was exhilarating by the abstract and surreal forms that were created by the shadows. This was the main focus of my work and was for several years, but as time passed my focus changed. I retained my fascination with shadows but added the presence of who might live or what might pass on the other side of that door or that window."
Dahlke has retired his playful, whimsical images of islanders to spend more time on his experimental works. The goal of his experimental paintings is to explore man's inner spirit. His talent in this exploration gained the attention of art critics, from which he gained a solo show at Museo de Las Americas in San Juan a few years ago. Some of these museum works are still available to purchase. Coombes notes, "those paintings and his new ones are characterized by compositional complexity, chromatic richness, and hard-edge spatial connections."
A few years ago Dahlke and his wife began looking for a locale where he could paint with the following specifications–affordable, spacious, great lighting, safe, and far away from hurricanes. Then he moved with his daughter Annika, and wife, Carole Whitney, a psychological therapist, back to Portland, Oregon. His wife embarked on obtaining a degree, with the goal of teaching English as a second language.
The town that won their hearts enough for them to build a home is San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The house will be completed in a few months. He and his wife walk everywhere. There are international restaurants, diverse galleries, gorgeous architecture, and friendly local people, as well as visitors from around the world. He walks to his studio space, while Carole's days are filled with teaching English to Mexican students. Dahlke adds, "Then when I am visiting the Virgin Islands, I can relax with my friends, knowing my work has been completed in Mexico. The Caribbean continues to inspire me."
Dahlke officially said goodbye to the whimsical style two years ago at Mango Tango with one final painting at the "Art by the Square Foot" show. While this saddens many collectors, his sculpture will peak new interest. He is dedicated to continue the architectual and experimental works, as well as to develop a grand body of sculpture.
The exhibition includes giclee prints. The goal of the giclee process is to create a print that looks like an original. With his original window and door paintings starting at $6000, Mango Tango is happy to offer the giclee-on-canvas reproductions. They each are in a small edition of 195, selectively available worldwide to top galleries.
Meet the artist at the champagne reception while enjoying the interpretive blues and rock n' roll of 2 Blue Shoes.
Free shuttle to the Red Hook ferry at 8:20pm. For more information call 777-3060. CLICK HERE to learn more about the gallery.

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