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Lucian Dulfan at Gallery5.

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For every one idea Lucien Dulfan has, he needs to ignore the next four. In the three series of his paintings on display at Gallery5 through Dec. 21, a universe of conceptual thought is offered.

Take, for instance, "Big Bang -- Last Straw," a set of 21 paintings that forms the centerpiece of the exhibition. Round canvases painted with a comforting palette of warm golds and creams, featuring astronauts in a statement about the infinity of space and man's fragility? Hey, makes sense.

According to Dulfan, the idea of a free fall, which pretty much sums up outer space, is a novel concept in the world of painting, which, even in its abstract incarnations, typically relies on horizons and directional orientation. Stuffy art history aside, space walking certainly gives you some perspective on your own meaning in the universe. Great. So these shiny, happy astronauts are made of … straw, you say? Fun! Why not?

Again, Dulfan has a point — the straw, which bends but doesn't break under pressure, is nothing if not a nifty metaphor for the human condition. So we're on board with the straw astronauts, who are painted in the act of … eating ice cream? Time to consider editing.



"Big Bang — Last Straw" is on display through Dec. 21 at Gallery5, 200 W. Marshall St. 644-0005.



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