Dana Hargrove

Artist Statement

Landscape, and how we manipulate it to fit preconceived ideals or corporatized molds, has become familiar territory for my art practice. Whether I am exploring the urban environment with its homogenized grid of rectangular blocks, or examining how culture frames and re-frames landscape, I remain responsive to how our perceptions of the world and sense of place are shaped by human design.

My spatially illusionistic representations offer synthesized versions of geological outcrops, cairns, or memorial mounds of gathered rock. Organic forms are civilized through linear perspective and a hard-edged painting approach that highlights our ongoing subordination of nature.

Classic western movie sets, with their façade communities propped amid panoramic backdrops of desert and mountain have informed the installation of components within Absentia. Placeless and staged, they act as stand-in monuments to the loss of natural landscape brought on by capitalism and its co-opting of the wild.

Iceland Series Artist Statement:

For a month I walked the terrain of a small, remote fjord in Northern Iceland. Underfoot, the track changed swiftly from tarmac to gravel, mossy grass to mud, over sharp rocks up to delicate mountain flowers and cushioning heather. Beyond, the icy skyline constantly shifted through a variety of clean blues; horizontal banding etched across the heights of the surrounding mountains. Below, road, fence and path echoed these natural contours.

Work in the studio became infused with this topography. My beating of the tracks, with their constant changes in texture, worked its way into the explorative, layered process of my mixed-media drawings. The outside expanse, often fettered by man’s imprint, instilled a rhythm of mark-making on the paper that, despite the freedom of approach, is mindful of the framing principle of order that reverberates through a journey, no matter how far we travel from civilization.

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Bridgette Mayer Gallery   709 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106   tel 215 413 8893   fax 215 413 2283   bmayer@bmayerart.com   Site by exhibit-E™