2019 Luminous Matter
Ideas about what the cosmos or universe is made of is an ongoing topic of Dominique's research and investigations. In Luminous Matter she constructed abstractions of what Michael Loewenstein writes about in his NASA "Imagine the Universe" article, Finding Out What Clusters Are Made Of. Specifically he writes, "Clusters are made up of two basic types of matter: luminous matter (like stars and hot gas) and dark matter. Dark matter does not shine on its own, and the only way we know it exists is because of its gravitational affect on luminous matter." Dominique is particularly taken with ideas like "Most of the luminous matter in clusters is in the form of hot gas in between the galaxies. The gas, which has a temperature of 10-100 million degrees, radiates X-rays. How much hot gas is in a cluster is simply related to the total X-ray luminosity we observe from the cluster. Thus, we can make a direct measurement of the luminous matter from X-ray observations of clusters of galaxies." She began each painting with intuitive painterly gestures, then drew onto each painted surface graphite triangular shapes. The works were completed by randomly painting in some triangles with vivid, vibrant translucent oils that might be seen as the unfathomably hot gaseous luminous matter X-rays.