a thing re | sembling a win • dow

Encountering Dana Hargrove’s cardboard multiples scattered throughout the gallery serve to orient the viewer to the space through conventions of landscape and horizon with their bases situated at floor level. Yet just as immediately this perception is destabilized as the miniature nature of each cropping is revealed, leaving us to feel enormous as we walk through this field of anonymous structures. Hargrove’s facades function simultaneously as futuristic non-spaces and modernist relics, consisting of rigid and compartmentalized Mondrian-like forms that have been subjected to a cartoonish distortion, suggestive of both inner-city tower blocks and cairns within the landscape. Drawing upon the language of abstraction to engage with architectural representation, the fabricated nature of the built environment is called attention to through repetitive visualization.

Associating the urban forms of brutalist architecture with stone piles encountered along walking paths in the countryside has been a recurrent theme in Hargrove’s work for several years, as these formal and cultural references link directly to her formative years in the United Kingdom. Hargrove comes at these concerns of space and place from a critical rather than nostalgic perspective. Using tossed aside shipping boxes as a base for each form; the residue of material culture is deliberately allowed to seep out from behind their painted covering, with ghosts of logos and text barely perceptible from behind the white wash. The transformation of these labeled boxes into corporatized factory-like structures produces a double reference to the box-like building as producer of the commodity containers themselves, with the flimsy, uneven material and thick, gestural marks alluding to a certain instability suggestive of contemporary apprehensions around labor and economy.

—Associate Professor Dawn Roe 

Read exhibition catalog in full here