So Sweet / Dana Oldfather at Zg Gallery
It’s always a thrill to see Cleveland’s best artists pursuing national careers. Over the past several years the abstract paintings of a homegrown favorite, Dana Oldfather, have been snapped up by private collectors and public venues from Philadelphia to Las Vegas. Now one of Chicago’s sharpest galleries has joined the list. From May 5 through July 2, Zg Gallery opened a solo show featuring about twenty of Oldfather’s smaller paintings titled “Sweet, Sweet, Sweet” (fans of her work will remember similarly named exhibits, like her solo show “Tap Crack, Bellow” at the Butler Museum in Youngstown in 2013 — the Museum commissioned a dynamic thirty-foot long, five-panel Oldfather painting for the occasion — and her current curatorial project “Thump…Dump, Clump, Lump…Bump” at Bonfoey Gallery in Cleveland). Zg’s owners Meg Sheehy and Myra Casis say that unsold paintings from the exhibit have been moved for the duration of the summer to the gallery’s ancillary exhibition area. You can visit Dana’s pieces there, or view them online at Zg Gallery.com.
In other news, Dana’s one-person exhibit at Red Arrow Gallery in Nashville opens on September 10 – and the list goes on. Obviously there’s an appeal to her work that transcends all kinds of boundaries. The works on paper in Chicago in particular live up to the show’s title – they’re sweet, and more than that, they’re complicated and mysterious. They’re like unsolvable puzzles, or lovely knots that the eye compulsively attempts to untie. At one moment they speak of gesture, of paint and motion, but at the same time chant little songs of usable form – of tubes and grates, of imperishable manmade things washing up against … seaborne bladders and poisonous spines, mixing with the fear and intimacy of biological functioning. They’re all about
ugly/wonderful new worlds. Oldfather’s paintings have a venturesome charm that’s hard to resist.