Dana Dart-McLean


Feb 24 – April 1, 2018


Goodnight Projects is pleased to present Dana Dart-McLean: The Slow Read. In this new installation, the intimate and personal keep company with the epic in a series of small and medium scale paintings on paper, and two papier mâché wall sculptures.

With characteristic humor and lightness of touch, Dart-McLean works a personal lexicon of motifs – from windows, text fragments and enigmatic diagrams to roughly hewn hand gestures and off-kilter geometries – toward her own poetic form. Paintings, some densely packed and some just on the edge of visibility, float like they do in the imagination when one has forgotten their origin, opening up a free associative play. While organized in panels that resemble film strips (with some splicing and omissions here and there), the paintings in The Slow Read work against linear interpretation. Images repeat and shift, encouraging the viewer to cycle back, look again, look more slowly.

Made over a year’s time on her kitchen table, The Slow Read furthers Dart-McLean’s desire to reconcile words with the visual, reminding us that these different planes of narrative experience—reading, remembering, our own stories, the stories of others—are porous and fluid. In Dart-McLean’s world, meaning is layered, shifting and often indecipherable, but perhaps discoverable if one takes the long view. A deep read may take a lifetime.

Dana Dart-McLean makes work about language, humor, memory, and narrative. She combines painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation to explore how sequence and relations between elements create different moods or affective resonances, surfacing themes of self-definition, power dynamics, romanticism, legibility, and misunderstanding. Her art practice is influenced by her work and training as a psychotherapist. She has shown her work in Copenhagen at Nicolai Wallner Gallery, in Chicago at Western Exhibitions, in Portland at PMOMA, and in Los Angeles at Human Resources, among other exhibitions. She will show work with Johanna Jackson and Morgan Ritter at Et al. etc. Gallery in San Francisco in March 2018.