Dailey's Lamentations series is a meditation in two and three dimensions on nuclear theology and its implications in our atomic age. Comprised of diverse works on canvas, paper, glass, Plexiglas or constructed in granite, steel, plastic or wood, the series pioneers in defining an aesthetics of nuclear iconography in post-Cold War culture. Encapsulated in titles such as “The Delicate Balance of Terror,” “From Crossbow to H-Bomb,” and “Dichotomy of Destruction,” the genre defying assemblages that constitute this project challenge the viewer—paraphrasing one of the works—to think about the unthinkable. Like much of Dailey’s work, Lamentations reflects the artist’s decades-long engagement in international affairs, national security, and arms control.
The project takes as its springboard “Station Six” from the artist’s 2011 series 14 Stations of the Crossroads, a narrative of the artist’s life journey and a portrayal of the decisions that helped define his identity and character. Dailey’s Lamentations series is informed by this history, enabling the artist to offer a unique perspective on the themes and issues confronted here. Simultaneously elegiac and foreboding, the project can be read as a provocative wake-up call of sorts and a lament we are cautioned to ignore at our own peril.
Works in the series: