Dana Hargrove: N o w [ ] h e r e

September 7 - October 12, 2019

Dana Hargrove
N o w [ ] h e r e
September 7 – Oct 12, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7, 4 – 7 PM
Artists Talk: Friday, September 20, 11 AM

About the Exhibition
For conceptual artist Dana Hargrove’s second alt_space exhibition at Arts on Douglas, she presents new work that expands upon an ongoing exploration of human/land relationships while also referencing related themes through vestiges from her Scottish heritage.

The title of this exhibition cleverly alludes to the fact that one space is all that separates nowhere from now here (and vice versa). Hargrove plays with this reference in subtle ways through each body of work presented in this exhibition.

In the series Primordial Soup, Hargrove alludes to the hypothesis that life originated from a solution rich in organic compounds in the primitive oceans of the earth. Hargrove explains that this series, “imagines the birth of civilization, drifting in on islands, full of hope and enterprise.” In these small-scale acrylic paintings, her signature clusters of simplified geometric forms seem to take on the role of building blocks as they appear to hover over “islands” of color signifying the land.

In another body of work titled Tumuli, Hargrove works on a larger scale to present bright and colorful geometric forms. These stacked arrangements are a loose reference to a tumulus—a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. They are also a reference to cairns, which are common in the mountainous regions of Scotland and in some cases may have originally been part of a tumuli. Hargrove elaborates that “These spatially illusionistic paintings offer a synthesized version of a cairn—an assembled mound of gathered rocks, hand-built stone by stone through the centuries by locals and visitors to memorialize their journey or commemorate and connect with the spirits of their ancestors. Tumuli plasticizes these ancient stone piles via saturated color, forced perspective, and simplified shapes to create a spare, simulated landscape.”

The next component of this exhibition, Lithic Scatter, references a scattered surface of cultural artifacts made up of lithic (i.e., stone) tools and chipped stone debris. Hargrove explains that the individual mixed-media paintings of Lithic Scatter “take their visual cue from the standing stones that dot the landscape of Scotland.” In each piece, a large stone-like shape sits atop a field of color. Within the boundaries of each stone, a network of stacked geometric shapes fills the space, adding the illusion of depth to an otherwise flat plane.

While many themes present themselves in this strikingly bold and thought-provoking body of work, Hargrove’s ongoing exploration of man’s relationship with the land is at the core. Hargrove elaborates, “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 our sense of place are shaped by human design.”

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