There Used to Be a Street, new work by Dana Oldfather
November 14, 2020 – January 23, 2021
The Carnegie Center presents a solo exhibition by Cleveland, Ohio based painter, Dana Oldfather. Oldfather has exhibited nationally in galleries and museums including Library Street Collective, Detroit, Zg Gallery, Chicago, Kathryn Markel Fine Art, New York, and The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown. She was awarded the William and Dorothy Yeck Award for Young Painters, two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards, as well as residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Zygote Press. Oldfather was twice featured in the New York Times, and published in the book The Art of Spray by Lori Zimmer of Art Nerd New York. Oldfather’s work was recently exhibited at art fairs in Houston, Miami, Palm Beach, Jersey City and New York, including Art on Paper. Her paintings are internationally collected privately and can be found in many public and corporate collections in the US including the Pizzuti Collection with The Joseph Editions, Eaton Corporation, MGM International, The Cleveland Clinic, and the prestigious Progressive Art Collection. Dana Oldfather currently works and lives just outside Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband Randall and young son Arlo.
My paintings explore relationships between partners, parents and children, friends, people and nature. Piles of bodies at work or play are bound up together; they support each other and crowd each other. Traditional ideas about femininity and motherhood are questioned as women in this work bounce back and forth between getting it done and becoming undone. I put their bodies together strangely to challenge unattainable standards of beauty and express the anxiety and confusion that arises in reaching for them. These figures help me come to terms with the uniqueness of my own feminine body, its aging, and my ownership of it. Walls dissolve and interior objects mix with landscape, the kind of landscape one sees outside the car window while driving out of town down the interstate. Glazes, drips, sprays, veils, slashes and daubs build up things like pine trees, transformers, grass, stars, underpants, houseplants, dishes, flying bugs, fire hydrants, and bodies with too many hands, feet, knees and elbows. The scenes are in flux. An action sequence composed of multiple still images is condensed, out of the usual order of time, into one disjointed moment. I use anxious mark making and warped perspective to mirror a rushing world distorted by apprehension. These paintings underscore the inherent emotional conflict of parenting young children and the fragility of comfort and happiness in America today.
Featured image: Detail of Borrowed Field, 2018. Oil, acrylic, airbrush, spray paint on linen. 48 x 60 inches