September 16 – October 23, 2010
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 16, 6 - 9 PM
Priska C. Juschka Fine Art is pleased to present Dana Melamed’s third solo show at the gallery. With this exhibition, Melamed expands her exploration of the relationship between her unique technique, the materials she applies and her theoretical approach to a subject as old as the human race — the conflict between nature’s own creations and manmade interventions.
Melamed constructs a visual world of drawn and collaged imagery, mostly sourced from digital archives forming a pictorial quilt, consequently transforming it with a blowtorch into a densely crusted, layered surface born out of fire.
Using a blowtorch to melt her materials into one another, Melamed fuses sheet metal, Cinefoil, photographic film, acrylic paint and industrial waste into a complex amalgam of textures — left only void of color, but for the singe marks of her instrument. Her intricate black and white palette produces a wide spectrum of hues, provoking a sense of a full palate on a surface, woven together by paint, glue and fire. By transforming a regular blowtorch into a brush that mixes materials rather than colors, Melamed demonstrates the ability of an alchemist with an aptitude for using the element of fire to change the consistency of matter.
Similarly sedimentary, Melamed’s subject matter evokes the first collective memories of mankind — the struggle of human determination and ultimately attempted domination with nature’s ceaselessly regenerating creative processes. By referring to the inventions of the industrial age, foremost the engine that brought both progress and self-inflicted destruction, Melamed lays the groundwork for an argument that points to the core of human nature itself, questioning the merits of human evolution and the progress of civilization — whether mankind is capable of handling the power it seized and possesses conscientiously and responsibly.
Dana Melamed was born and raised in Israel, and now lives and works in New Jersey. She holds a B.A. in Architectural Studies from Ort Technikum, Israel. She has been the subject of several solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows including: One Thousand and One Nights: the narrative tradition in contemporary Middle Eastern art, William Paterson University Art Galleries, Wayne, NJ; Skeptical Landscapes, Herter Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; Sustainable?, Chen Gallery, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT; the 183rd Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art, National Academy of Design, New York, NY; and Future Tense: Contemporary Views/Post-Utopian Landscape, Neuberger Museum of Art, Westchester, NY. She will also be included in the upcoming exhibition Fire Works at the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, NJ.
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