b. 1986, United States

Dana James Biography

Dana James' moonlit paintings are akin to a nightlight discovering its way through caliginous explosions and fractured, multi-panel constructions. Energetic bursts of color grow up from the ground, evoking windblown nature, roaring oceans or the stillness of a manmade swimming pool. The shifting light of iridescent paint, a material quintessential to James' work, resembles the transient flashes of color experienced upon falling asleep, or a sweeping landscape briefly illuminated by the headlights of a moving car.

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Through the assemblage of both new and recycled pieces of canvas, each painting wears its own process-based history. Used, dirty canvas is bifurcated by bright, garish color creating a surface that speaks to the evolution of time and temporality. The contradictory nature of James' paint handling calls our visual memory, and the way in which it serves us, into question. James deliberately places contrasting materials and processes next to one another through the act of pouring paint, creating multi-dimensional layers of wax, throwing loose pigment, and mark making. The pieces are then constructed into asymmetrical panels, breaking out of traditional square and rectangular painting modules, and initiating an active dissonance and harmony. At once dark and feminine, James' paintings are dreamily immersive in warm and colorful beauty, but we are actively looking over our shoulder for dark detonations.

James states "My paintings act as panorama of linear time; they serve as a reminder that we are small and predictable creatures, 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 (b. 1986) is a painter and New York native now residing in Bushwick, Brooklyn. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2008. Her work has been the subject of solo presentations at the Lodge Gallery (New York), Urban Gallery (Philadelphia) and Union Gallery (New York) among several others. She has been featured in numerous group exhibitions including_Breaking the Frame_, Hollis Taggart Contemporary, The Thread, a two person show with Lizbeth Mitty, M. David & Co. Brooklyn, NY, and Silence is Accurate, Capetown South Africa. Her work has been presented in exhibition spaces and art fairs across the U.S and can be found in private and public collections including the ISLIP Museum of Art and SIA in Cape Town, South Africa. James has been featured in publications such as Hyperallergic, Artforum and_Art Critical_.

Dana James
featured artworks

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Tidal, The Apocryphal Paradise V by Dana James contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Dana James Tidal, The Apocryphal Paradise V, 2024 Oil, collage, pigment, and acrylic on canvas
91.4 x 81.3 cm
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Hollis Taggart
Midnight Darling (Love Returns) by Dana James contemporary artwork painting
Dana James Midnight Darling (Love Returns), 2024 Oil, pigment, and acrylic on canvas
116.8 x 101.6 cm
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Hollis Taggart
Secret Lavender (The Apocryphal Paradise VI) by Dana James contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Dana James Secret Lavender (The Apocryphal Paradise VI), 2024 Acrylic, pigment, oil, and collage on canvas
137.2 x 152.4 cm
Hollis Taggart Request Price & Availability
Dandelion, One Touch Can Blow it all Away by Dana James contemporary artwork painting
Dana James Dandelion, One Touch Can Blow it all Away, 2022 Oil, encaustic, and pigment on canvas
91.4 x 147.3 cm
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Hollis Taggart
The She Pirate by Dana James contemporary artwork painting
Dana James The She Pirate, 2023 Oil, encaustic, collage, pigment, and foil on canvas
101.6 x 76.2 cm
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Hollis Taggart
The Stranger by Dana James contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Dana James The Stranger, 2022 Oil, encaustic, pigment and collage on canvas
91.4 x 76.2 cm
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Hollis Taggart
Queen by Dana James contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Dana James Queen, 2022 Oil and encaustic on canvas
45.7 x 35.6 cm
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Hollis Taggart
Georgia's Ghost by Dana James contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Dana James Georgia's Ghost, 2022 Oil, acrylic and pigment on canvas
91.4 x 91.4 cm
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Hollis Taggart
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Dana James
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