Dana James is an abstract painter working with different media and techniques. Her paintings unfold as vivid fields of color in fractured multi-panel constructions. Combining energetic, impulsive brush strokes, drawing and sewing, the artist creates complex compositions on the brink of studies of time and material essays.
Dana James’ process involves a combination of acrylic, ink, oil, charcoal and raw pigments, as well as the encaustic technique using wax, fabric and resin. Employing raw or used canvas and bright color, the artist produces delicate surfaces alluding to both the visual and haptic sense. By deconstructing her materials into discrete and discernible elements and reforming them into new compositions, James makes invisible things visible. The surfaces generated possess their individual temporality and allude to imagined places, distant memories or intermediate worlds. Therein, the paintings consist in different layers of time, material, and experience.
The imagery and symbols employed by the artist stem from her everyday. The scenes created seemingly fuse sci-fi imagery and American Color Field Painting. Thereby they cross the boundaries between representation and abstraction. Using water as her primary medium, James describes her work as a compromise between artist and medium, between control and letting go. As such, the works combine determination of gesture and poetry of flow. Concerning the artist, her images are temporal, taking place in a specific moment; yet they pertinent to a seemingly drifting history where the viewer is only passing by.
“My paintings act as panorama of linear time; they serve as a reminder that we are small and predictable, incessantly creating and shedding beautiful accounts of the earth and its elements. Upon completion, they are visual diaries that speak to contradiction, a latency caromed by intermittent activity.“
Dana James was born in New York in 1986. In 2005, she graduated from Emerson College, Boston, and in 2008, completed her BFA at the School of Visual Arts, NY, including an Award for the Most Recognised Artist Statement. In 2020, the artist held a residency at 100 West Corsicana, Corsicana, TX, US. Dana James has widely exhibited throughout the United States. She lives and works in New Yorks, NY, US.