Hollis Taggart is pleased to announce representation of artists Dana James and John Knuth, as part of its growing contemporary program. The gallery recently presented James’s abstract paintings in its fall group exhibition, Breaking the Frame, which explored the different ways in which artists are disrupting the seemingly inherent two-dimensional nature of painting. Knuth’s abstract paintings and objects, which are created through a singular process using fly regurgitations, were the subject of a solo presentation in June 2019 at Hollis Taggart’s temporary space at the High Line Nine. The gallery is now planning solo shows for both artists, with dates to be announced later this year.
“We saw tremendous public and collector response to both Dana and John’s works in our recent exhibitions. Dana’s vividly colored and perspective-bending compositions speak to the ongoing evolutions within abstraction as well as to the dynamism of painting practice today. Equally, John’s unique, sometimes unorthodox, approach to painting as well as to installation and object-making captures the imagination and inspires a rethinking of what art is and how it should be made,” said Paul Efstathiou, Director of Contemporary Art at Hollis Taggart. “We look forward to further engaging our audiences with their work.”
Dana James takes inspiration from suburban landscapes and the images associated with Americana, including sun-soaked swimming pools, hammocks, front porches, and television screens. In her abstract paintings, these figural elements are transformed into loose shapes and outlines, which James reassembles into new compositions that suggest the indistinct progressions of fading or even imagined memories. This sensation is amplified by James’ mixing of acrylic paint with water and other materials, which she in turn pours, paints, scraps, and layers on the canvas. This often gives her paintings a dreamy quality, as though her colorful forms and fields of color are floating or filtering through air or water.
Of her work, she says, “Sound waves, water, and light are all essences that reverberate through my chosen imagery. They pertain to a drifting history that merges with the otherworldly. This unknown space shifts between catharsis and danger, between peace and abandonment, and between fear and the courage to dive in. In this way, I’m developing my own kind of language, while also responding to and building on the great American tradition of Color Field painting.”
John Knuth challenges traditional notions of art making by creating aesthetically stunning works through indelicate techniques, taking materials and processes regarded as base and making them into something magnificent. He is particularly recognized for his use of fly regurgitations to produce abstract paintings and globes. Honing this process over many years, he has developed an incredible control over the flyspecks, resulting in canvases of brilliant, seemingly luminescent color that fades and intensifies to dynamic effect. He has also created installations and objects with distress flares, metallic space blankets, and Mylar sandbags, developing a style and approach that is entirely his own and that speaks to broader cultural dialogues, especially those relating to environmental concerns.
Of his work, he says, “I live in Los Angeles, so I spend a lot of time in the car. It gives me time to think, but also to look out at the metropolis that is my adopted city. I see how as the city continues to expand, we are altering the landscape. We’re creating something new but we’re also leaving a scar. Human production, in general, has, and continues to, rapidly reshape the world, in ways that we cannot yet fully understand. Exploring the ramifications of that change, particularly to the natural landscape, is an important underlying theme in my practice.”
Dana James (b. 1986) has exhibited widely over the last decade. Her work has been the subject of solo presentations at The Lodge Gallery (New York), Urban Gallery (Philadelphia), and Union Gallery (New York), among several others, and has been included in exhibitions at spaces and fairs across the U.S. Her paintings can be found in private and public collections, including at the ISLIP Art Museum in East Islip, New York and SIA in Cape Town, South Africa. She holds an MFA and BFA from School of the Visual Arts, New York. She lives and works in Bushwick.
John Knuth’s (b. 1978) recent solo exhibitions, include The Origin of the New World at Hollis Taggart, New York, NY; The Silver Scenery at NewStudio Gallery, Minneapolis, MN; The Distorted Landscape at Marie Kirkegaard Gallery, Copenhagen, DK; Lake of Fire at Andrew Rafacz, Chicago, IL; and Powerplant at Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy; among others. His works have also been included in a wide range of group shows at galleries and museums across the U.S. He holds an MFA from the University of Southern California and a BFA from the University of Minnesota. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
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