Dana Powell: Drinking Dust: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Los Angeles

July 24 - August 28, 2021
Installation Views
Press release

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Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present Drinking Dust, Dana Powell’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles and her second with the gallery, on view July 24 - August 28, 2021.

 

Continuing the portrayal of transitional spaces and moments of suspense, Powell’s newest paintings explore ideas around environmentalism and the place of humans in nature. Change comes fast, now more than ever, on a planet that seems to be heating up and running out - of space, resources, and time. In Drinking Dust, the human is inherently present though never visually portrayed. Intervention comes in the form of graffiti, picked clovers, trails in grass, and a hole in a frozen pond. These paintings are charged with an anxiety felt all over the world, but also include moments of humor and joy, beauty and respite. For Powell, this paradox is the epitome of being human. Wonder is found in simple acts, like looking at the moon, or traveling through a landscape transformed by the sheer force of weather. Despite an ever-present fear of collapse and change, there is some reassurance that to be human is to be a vital part of nature.

 

“My canteen is nearly empty and I’m afraid to drink what little water is left - there may never be any more. I’d like to cave in for a while, crawl under yonder cottonwood and die peacefully in the shade, drinking dust…”

— Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

 

Born in 1989 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dana Powell lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The artist graduated with a BFA from Cooper Union in 2015 and completed a residency at the Still House Group the following year.

Works