Metro Micro Gallery Presents Spencer Dormitzer You Don’t Have To… If You Need To…

By Editorial Team on June 12, 2017
You Don't Have To... If You Need To... - 2017, archival ink drawing on rives BFK watercolor paper, 30" x 22". Courtesy of Metro Micro Gallery.
You Don’t Have To… If You Need To… – 2017, archival ink drawing on rives BFK watercolor paper, 30″ x 22″. Courtesy of Metro Micro Gallery.


Opening Reception: Saturday, June 17 from 4pm to 6pm


You don’t need to… If you have to … is a body of work by artist Spencer Dormitzer. At a glance, Dormitzer’s dense geometric shapes may appear like prints–but a closer look reveals the astounding knowledge that these are drawings, painstakingly built layer by layer. The result is something more of a figure than simply a shape, playful and whimsical yet with a presence that holds its own weight, giving space for feelings more profound.

“My recent drawings have put focus on creating difficult, intricate, broken narratives connected to a simple image; a circle, square, rectangle… with marks of scribbles/scrabbles, the feeling of hair, or the feeling of being there. This idea of making a dysfunctional or “informal” geometric abstraction has become a welcomed obsession–layers of complex characters (marks in a specific color) overlay each other, forming a frenetic conversation between them.

I was having a conversation about either Superheroes or Power Rangers with my 5-year old son recently, when he paused mid-discussion, sat in deep thought and exclaimed very calmly and confidently these remarkable words…

‘You don’t need to… If you have to…’

That sentence has stayed with me since he said it. It may have been the delivery, mixed with the poetry of the words, but I know this quote pertains to my work and my thinking about my work, even though I don’t think I am evolved enough to understand it… Yet.”    – Spencer Dormitzer

Spencer Dormitzer attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1986 and has been a working artist for over 25 years. He has had over 50 solo and group shows, in such places as Chicago, Antwerp Belgium, Sante Fe, New York City, and Washington DC.  His work belongs in over 100 private and museum collections, and has been featured in the New Art Examiner, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Reader, New City Chicago Magazine, and Washington Post.

Spencer has also worked as studio manager for New York Abstractionist David Reed and as an executive producer for the New York Cosmos. He now works as the Director of Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery located on U Street Northwest, and lives in Capitol Hill with his wife and two sons.

Guest Curator Emily Fussner is Washington DC area artist, currently obtaining her MFA in Printmaking at George Mason University.  She has previously worked with the Smith Center and Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery to coordinate the 2015 & 2016 Alchemical Vessels exhibitions.

Metro Micro Gallery is located at 3409 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA. For more information visit