Dana Hart-Stone’s works reveal the artist’s passion for collecting vintage, vernacular photographs of the West and digitally manipulating them to create his elaborate works. Hart-Stone’s use of a multitude of period photographs to create a visual field of imagery in The Life and Times of Plaid is a major departure from his previous work in which images were often manipulated to the point of abstraction. In each of the photographs reproduced, Hart-Stone has used vivid colors to highlight related thematic elements, imbuing the painting with a dynamic interplay of color. Additionally, Hart-Stone’s new use of his intricate patterning in rounded formats expands on the compositional strategies of his previous body of work, giving the viewer the feeling of looking through a kaleidoscopic lens at the past. Using serial imagery digitally printed in UV-cured inks on canvas, Hart-Stone’s paintings draw upon both the collective memory of everyday people of the rural American West and our collective cultural nostalgia for the time period.
In addition to looking back historically, Hart-Stone’s paintings are also master studies in color harmonies and intricate pattern making. In the title work, The Life and Times of Plaid, a 13-foot multi-panel work, Hart-Stone has arranged the found black and white images side by side, each in full reproduction. Within each photograph, Hart-Stone has used vibrant colors to digitally tint the plaid dresses, suits, ties, shirts, and upholstery fabrics, giving the work an optical charge. In works such as Prong Horn, Cow Story, Inspecting Lettuce, Distracted by Ric Rac, and On Parade, Hart-Stone explores rounded compositions, bending his patterned imagery into circular forms that draw the viewer in with rhythmic, pulsating tonalities. Each painting also has a thematic gambit tying together the source imagery used to create it. The stitching together of Hart-Stone’s images re-contextualizes the photographs in each of his works, allowing the viewer to look anew at this era of American history through the vehicle of abstract painting.
Born in Billings, Montana, Dana Hart-Stone attended Montana State University in Bozeman, and received his B.A. from San Francisco State University in 1997.
Dana Hart-Stone: The Life and Times of Plaid
Exhibition Dates: January 11 – March 7, 2020
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 11, 2020 from 4pm – 6pm with an Artist talk: 4:30pm
Brian Gross Fine Art
248 Utah Street
San Francisco, CA 94103