New Contemporary Work Becomes MOA Centerpiece

Eye-catching contemporary installation by internationally recognized artist to be featured as new centerpiece at BYU Museum of Art

PROVO, UT – For nearly two decades, a massive mixed media sculpture by Brower Hatcher, The Seer, greeted guests as they entered the Brigham Young University Museum of Art (BYU MOA). The recent de-installation of The Seer has made way for a series of rotating works to take its place, starting with a particularly eye-catching thread installation by internationally renowned artist Gabriel Dawe, now on view at the MOA.

The two translucent structures that make up the work, Plexus no. 29, filter through the MOA s skylight in the Ernst F., Ernst M., & Ida K. Lied Gallery and appear to be luminous rays of light refracted through a giant prism. The work, which will remain on view at the MOA through 2016, is a corporeal installation of nearly 80 miles of thread individually passed through a series of hooks with a 15-foot “needle.”

Plexus no. 29 is one of many in a series of large-scale works by the artist that feature colorful, intertwining threads that form a unified network – or plexus – which provides the inspiration for the title of the series. Each work within the series utilizes overlapping threads to create an almost immaterial glow of color. The prism-like effect of the sunrays penetrating the skylight above and refracting all the colors within the visible light spectrum invites viewers to behold the breadth and beauty of the visual experience. By observing the subtle gradations in color from various vantage points, visitors can more closely consider light, color, and the reflective surfaces at play.

“What I like about this work is that it s very approachable,” Dawe said. “It helps us to connect to that sense of wonder you have as a child – it bypasses your mind and touches something else.”

As a child growing up in Mexico, Dawe was intrigued by the vibrant textiles from his native Mexico, but social customs did not permit boys to engage in domestic pursuits such as embroidery. The use of thread as the medium for his artistic production is a way of questioning and subverting the machismo and gender stereotypes that Dawe encountered growing up.

Dawe will return to Provo for a special public opening celebration on January 9, 2015, from 7-10 p.m. Attendees to the event can visit with the artist and enjoy an evening of free food, fine art and live music at the MOA.


Originally from Mexico City, Gabriel Dawe creates site-specific installations that explore the connection between fashion and architecture, and how they relate to the human need for shelter in all its shapes and forms. His work is centered in the exploration of textiles, aiming to examine the complicated construction of gender and identity in his native Mexico and attempting to subvert the notions of masculinity and machismo prevalent in the present day. His work has been exhibited in the US, Canada, Belgium, and the UK. After living in Montreal, Canada for 7 years, he moved to Dallas, Texas, where he obtained his MFA at the University of Texas at Dallas. For the final two years of his degree, he was an artist in residence at CentralTrak, the Artist in Residency program at UTD. His work has been featured in numerous publications around the world, including Sculpture magazine, the cover of the 12th edition of Art Fundamentals published by McGraw-Hill, and in author Tristan Manco s book Raw + Material = Art. He is represented by Conduit Gallery in Dallas, and by Lot 10 Gallery in Brussels.


One of the largest and best-attended art museums in the Mountain West, the BYU Museum of Art offers a dynamic exhibition schedule that includes displays of its permanent collection, world-class traveling shows and thought-provoking exhibitions organized by museum curators. One of the museum s most important roles is its contribution to the academic mission of Brigham Young University. From the research and study of the artworks in the permanent collection, to the teaching and learning that occurs in classrooms and galleries, the museum plays an important role in the academic pursuits of many students at BYU. Concurrently, the museum seeks to connect to broad community audiences through its exhibitions and educational programming.


Hilarie Ashton
Marketing & Public Relations Manager
Brigham Young University Museum of Art
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