Dana Oldfather’s Soft Armor at Bonfoey


The Bonfoey Gallery presents paintings of Cleveland artist, Dana Oldfather in Soft Armor, on view in our street level and lower gallery from October 2 – November 1, 2015. An opening reception with the artist will be held at the gallery, Friday, October 2nd from 5 – 8 pm.

There is a point when art takes over your life and does not let go. I remember being eight and seeing a Pablo Picasso exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art and just being in total awe. I had not encountered anything like it in my entire life. I was so used to art imitating nature. Used to realism, to academic art, to paintings looking like something recognizable. I can say without any hesitation that that moment changed my life.

I am not trying to compare Dana Oldfather to Picasso. Let’s get that straight right from the very beginning. But I am saying that Dana Oldfather is creating art that gets inside of you and takes hold. Her exhibition, Soft Armor has the power to change the way you see the world and the way you see art. Oldfather is creating some of the most wildly imaginative work today.


Her playful, buoyant abstractions are an engaging combination of mediums. Bulbous and flowing fields of gesturally applied oil paint, pigment and polymer pours, ink bleeds, and spray painted expanses appear to aimlessly drift their way across an ambiguous horizon. The free forms walk the line between futuristic landscape and strange figuration. One can see the influence of imagery such as landmasses, lake and rock formations, interstellar events and anomalies, as well as figurative elements like toes, knees, ribs, collarbones, shoulders and necklines. A restless nervousness is brought on by a complex latticework of oil paint that is built up over and wrapped around these backgrounds.  One gets the feeling something “squishy” is attempting to protect itself. Manmade objects such as bridges, plumbing, iPods and their innards, contribute imagery to Oldfather’s shape making.  Urban industry and infrastructure underpins organic material. Oldfather states of her work “as a way of defying the void and defining the ‘home,’ I create systems of eroded, kneaded, knotted, laced up, scaffolded space in a state of simultaneous deterioration, support, and rebuild.”

Dana Oldfather was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a self-taught oil painter exhibiting in galleries and museums across the United States and Australia. Oldfather received the William and Dorothy Yeck Award for Young Painters in 2012, the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in 2013, an honorable mention in the David Bown Semiannual Competition for 2014, and was a MOCA Cleveland Nesnady + Schwartz Visiting Curator Selected Artist for Spring of 2015 by Naomi Beckwith of MCA Chicago. Oldfather is the newest and youngest featured artist at Ink Dish in San Diego, California, where her work is found on contemporary dinnerware.  Oldfather has been twice featured in the New York Times, and her work is published in the 3rd book Absolut 2014 with Rojo Projects in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2014.  She is currently represented at The Bonfoey Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio, Angela Meleca Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, Library Street Collective in Detroit, Michigan, and R.B. Stevenson Gallery in La Jolla, California.  Her work is in many public and corporate collections across the country, including the Pizzuti Collection, Eaton Corporation, The Aria Hotel & Casino, The Bellagio Hotel & Casino, The Cleveland Clinic, and The Progressive Art Collection. Oldfather currently lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio.

For more information about Dana Oldfather– Soft Armor, or other upcoming exhibitions, please contact The Bonfoey Gallery, 216.621.0178, or visit their website at www.bonfoey.com .


Dana Oldfather: Soft Armor October 2 – November 1

Julian Stanczak and Barbara Stanczak: November 6 – January 2


Bonfoey Gallery

1710 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, Ohio 44114