After the Flood
Mindy Solomon Gallery is pleased to present After the Flood a solo exhibition of artist Melanie Daniel.
Set in an antediluvian world in which humanity survives in hybrid forests and on the rising seas, this exhibition draws focus on solitary figures that appear as shadows or memories of people. Set in a dystopian future, a change has descended slowly over the world in a series of heavy floods brought on by the climate crisis. Paintings are entitled like the lyrics to love songs or poems, “I Lost Myself in Your Forest” or “When You Walk the Wood Where We Once Walked Together” representing a yearning/lamenting to be reunited with the landscape that we once knew, before the flood. Specters appear among the trees or behind lush tropical foliage. On the surface of it, there’s a feel of paradise, swaying palm trees, a quiet stroll through a forest. These images are paying homage to a disillusioned post 9/11 generation to which Daniel’s belongs. Palms appear in pine forests and point to a convergence or confusion of tropical and temperate forests and ecosystems. (Could humanity converge and cooperate as well?) With color being so dominant in many of these works, they take on a declarative position – psychedelic colors not trying to mimic the natural world, but colors which are bright and cautionary. These new paintings are not about any specific place. They could be anywhere which makes them personal but at the same time universal.
Daniel’s states: “What I’m aiming for is to have my paintings reflect back the outcome of human beings marking their ways all over our planet—collecting, cooking, extracting, manufacturing. Our species’ footprint plods through each of these landscapes, radiating futility and escapism, absurdity and optimism, but also speak emphatically of the potential to change our course and reconnect to the natural world. The soft sculptures in the exhibition are an extension of this idea, hybrids combining tropical, temperate and manmade objects like lamps and fans.“
Mindy Solomon is pleased to present this timely and dynamic immersive art experience.
About Melanie Daniel
Originally from Victoria, British Columbia, Melanie Daniel grew up in Kelowna,BC, immigrated to Israel, and was recently the Padnos Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Grand Valley State University, Michigan. Facing possible apocalypse, the humans in her rich narrative world forge a Mad-Max D.I.Y. method, trying to save or recreate a nature threatened with extinction. They have adopted various methods to adapt and survive, sometimes with ambiguous results, other times humorously hopeless. They still attempt the mundane tasks of daily life, but in an inhospitable world they appear unmoored. Her paintings poignantly capture this pervading duality of utopian and dystopian narratives.
Daniel’s psychedelic, unnatural palette, dense areas of vibrating pattern, and skewed perspectives underscore the uneasy relationship between the subjects and their environment. The result of nature overwhelming the human presence is reminiscent of Jules de Balincourt, Hernan Bas, or Lisa Yuskavage. Daniel’s big, brash, and strangely beautiful works are cautionary yet hopeful. They show the resilience of nature, as plants and flowers intermingle with graffitied ruins and threaten to overrun the canvas.
After studies in Canada, Melanie Daniel completed her BFA and MFA at Bezalel Academy, Israel. She was a professor at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and was recently the Padnos Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Grand Valley State University, Michigan. Daniel has had numerous exhibitions in Israel and abroad, including solo exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan, Asya Geisberg Gallery, NY, Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv, Ashdod Museum of Art, Israel, Shulamit Gallery, Los Angeles, Kelowna Art Gallery, BC, and Noga Gallery of Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, among others. Her work is included in collections such as the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Harvard Business School, and the Brandes Family Art Collection. She has received press in publications such as Maake Magazine, Artnet, Newsweek, Frieze, Haaretz, CBC/Radio Canada, The Huffington Post, Beautiful Decay, and the Artists Magazine. Daniel is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, the 2009 Rappaport Prize for a Young Israeli Painter, a Creative Capital Grant, and the NARS Foundation Residency in New York City.