(American, born 1971)
oil on canvas, 52 x 104 inches
Artwork courtesy of the Artist
Like the American realist painter Edward Hopper, Daniel Dove focuses our attention on pockets of the urban landscape we often overlook. The continual cycle of construction, decay, and reconstruction of our built environment provides the focal point of Dove’s imagery. The painting Odeon is based on a derelict theater in Detroit, which the artist documented firsthand. He was particularly taken with the vegetation taking root near the stage, a sign of nature reclaiming what people had constructed. In his handling of the subject, ornate plasterwork appears to dissolve into curtain patterns, which, in turn, merge into tree branches. This process of transformation – always at work in our surroundings – is echoed Dove’s working process, which involves painting, scraping and repainting until the picture’s surface takes on a tactile quality not unlike the decaying structure he is representing.
I am attracted to parts of the landscape that hope to be invisible or totally generic, like overgrown parking lots, family themed restaurants, and deteriorating factories. It’s exciting when banal places become visually transformed by light, weather, strange juxtapositions, and the like – very much Edward Hopper’s terrain.