They take the shape of night drives, full moons, swimming pools, elevator doors, still lifes with fruit, explosions, and peep holes. Unrelated at first look, these subjects prove malleable apparatus in demonstrating the unsettling power of the ordinary, and emotive potential of small shifts in formal painting strategies. Considered austerity is applied to Powell’s tableaus of the everyday, offering a window to the familiar and its undertow.
These paintings are charged with an anxiety felt all over the world, but also include moments of humor and joy, beauty and respite. For Powell, this paradox is the epitome of being human. Wonder is found in simple acts, like looking at the moon, or traveling through a landscape transformed by the sheer force of weather. Despite an ever-present fear of collapse and change, there is some reassurance that to be human is to be a vital part of nature.
Born in 1989 in Milwaukee, WI, Dana Powell lives and works in Winston-Salem, NC. The artist graduated with a BFA from Cooper Union in 2015 and completed a residency at the Still House Group the following year.