Dana Roes received her MFA in Painting from the University of Pennsylvania and has received several notable awards including a Fulbright Fellowship and a Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Residency.
Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions throughout the States as well as in Sweden, Australia, and China and she has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Gallery Listamistodim in Iceland, the Fay Gold Gallery in Atlanta, the Larry Siroli Gallery in Chelsea and the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery in Ft. Myers, Florida.
My time spent making paintings has been about exploring psychological and material space and my place within it. I continually revisit the notion of voids; missing pieces, inaccessible or unknowable spaces. Whether it is the psychological space of a lie, the mysterious space of multiple realities, or the indescribable space I feel when I close my eyes and face the sun, it is resistance to containment and the urge towards expansion that drives my work.
The body of work, Threshold, speaks of the liminal state in-between definition; neither coming nor going, neither material nor immaterial. In these works it is the negative space that interests me the most. I wish to have the viewer’s eyes rest in the areas that have no marks or forms in them; to find them satisfied in transit; comfortable with the ambiguity before arrival. Over the past two decades, I have used different vocabularies to express the same experience: the squirming discomfort of movement and the relief found in being released. At the same time, I keep returning to the feeling of entanglement and all that binds us to material reality.
After exclusively being an abstract painter for 25 years, the idea of solid material that existed long before life as we know it has become quite subversive and alluring to me. While the representational paintings in Marking Time evoke the concrete and familiar, I still understand them as abstractions. The elusive presence of a powerful force that is both very real and intrinsically resistant to representation is still at the heart of my work.
My current series, Holding Fast, returns to abstraction to investigate the coexistence of various modes of experience. Rather than being preoccupied with transitional states and the indecipherable, these paintings resonate with the acceptance of radical difference. The muscle in this work resides in its formal challenges of balancing chroma, hue, and composition in a way that elicits acceptance and neutrality rather than the pull of emotion.