Monte Dolack, Fossil Fueled, 2013
Altered State Artist Statement
Musings on the contemporary Montana Landscape
Paintings and constructions by Monte Dolack
Holter Museum of Art, exhibition January 17 –April 15 2014
Monte Dolack Gallery , exhibition May 1 - May 31 2014
Montana, the Treasure State, has a historic legacy of industry including mining, timbering, water and fossil fuel use, including coal, oil and gas extraction, ranching, real estate development, road building, species loss and invasive species introduction. The tension between the diverse natural Montana landscape versus civilization, industry and development are delicately balanced and include the elements of Fire, Water, Wind and Land.
The subjects and themes I am addressing in my paintings include Butte’s Berkeley Pit, The Clark Fork Superfund River, Silver Bow Creek, Miltown Dam removal, Great Falls Oil refinery on the Missouri, The Anaconda Copper Refinery Smelter, Wind generators. Mike Horse Creek on the Blackfoot River. Other subjects include barbed wire, oil rigs, Coal trains, fossils, culverts, timber clear-cuts, and climate change.
Personal history and identity: My Grandfather Steve Dolack was an immigrant coal miner in Belt, my father; Mike Dolack worked at the Great Falls Anaconda copper refinery. After graduating from High School I worked at the copper refinery in Great Falls while going to college.
Materials: I chose, copper, acrylic and oil paint, coal, wood and found materials for this body of work. I painted on copper panels allowing some of the iridescent quality of the copper to show thru the thin paint glazes. I am also working on sculptures that are assemblies of various found materials that relate to our industrial and natural resources.
Framing and presentation: The paintings on copper panels are “floated” against a black painted wood background with framing forming a space all around the copper panel. The closed corner frames are wide, flat black wood frames. They are hand crafted by frame maker Julie Tippets with a surface treatment of rubbed-in charcoal and iron oxide.
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