The first thing you may notice about Dana Hargrove’s exhibition for New General is a deliberate layering—seen literally in the installation itself, where multiple pieces comprise the larger whole; and within the work itself, where shapes are stacked one on top of the other, forming intricate networks. While Hargrove employs a wide range of media, most of her work deals with systems within nature and how we as humans exist within and/or interact with these environments. At times, they are more literal (as in her storefront collages) and other examples are abstracted representations of space and place.
The “cairn” watercolors, while originally inspired by stacks of rocks in her native Scotland, are not tied to that specific place. Instead, they become studies of shape, color and abstraction that trigger different interpretations for everyone. The same symbolic stacks take on far different realizations in the cardboard formations that Hargrove creates and then photographs in different settings. Here the work is multi-layered as well: the original stacked cardboard sculpture is the work of art, the performative act of incorporating into different spaces is a work of art, as is the resulting photograph of the action. Perhaps the final layer is where and how each of us interact with the installation.
-Ginger Gregg Duggan, curatorsquared