Anne Harris and Dana DeGiulio
Hyde Park Art Center - June 2014
Notes on Dana DeGiulio
There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.
Theres no split between abstraction and figurationpainting is painting. It all walks the line between the physical stuff its made of, and the metaphorical world that stuff turns into. At minimum, it exists to be perceived. We take it in with our eyes and bodies; walk toward it, back away from it, measure it against ourselves. We look at and into it, viscerally connecting to sensations of pressure, weight and touch, to the tactility of paint and the luxury of illusion.
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This brings me to Dana DeGiulio. I was persuaded to choose her as my partner for this companionable show by a small piece of hers I saw recentlya still life painting of flowers in a vase on a table. It had perfect pitch, so much so that I found myself holding my breath. I was afraid exhaling would throw it off balance. Its made of silver grays offset by small dabs of brighter color. Nothing about its concept, form or subject matter can be called innovative, yet this painting is radicala revolt through gentleness, an all-in, badass tender act of perception.
Danas work skirts along whatever edge she choosesrepresentational, abstract, conceptual, performance. But always, she paints touch. Even when theres no paint theres always an act of impact. After all, this is the artist who rammed her car into the Suburbanas forceful as gesture can be without personal injury. By slam or stroke the thing touched is transformed. Each mark aspires to be effective but unaffected, to create the maximum contradiction with the simplest means. Gentleness is aggressive, violence is contemplative, but always, each decision is felt.
Most important to me is that, through the sensation of physical touch, she creates the feel of feelings. Emotional truthan inexplicable gut thing that cant be arrived at through formula. The only strategy is immersiona full blooded dunk. Dana, for me, holds the high bar. She reminds me: there it is, that fresh potent truth. Dont forget. Thats the point.