Curator’s Corner: Chanel Reed on “Night Tripper” at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
As part of The Art Effect’s curatorial workforce development program, youth curators attend gallery shows in the Hudson Valley and New York City and write reviews of what they’ve seen. Senior member of the Trolley Barn Curatorial Team, Chanel Reed, shares her thoughts on a recent show at the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.
The Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is at 521 West 21st Street, New York, NY. This gallery developed a contemporary program that includes painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, video, and photography, representing thirty unique artists worldwide. The gallery continues to support the works and careers of artists internationally. The Tanya Bonakdar Gallery featured a past exhibition, “Night Tripper” (June 22 – July 28, 2023), exhibiting Dana Powell’s newest pieces that have an ominous and unsettling effect. She composed small-scale oil paintings that depicted moments like the moonlit sky and dark backroads.
Powell’s small-scale pieces aren’t as provocative as others but burden the viewer with many questions. Dana Powell’s “Closed Road” is a 12 x 14-inch piece that drew my attention. It produces an unnerving atmosphere with bright orange cones and green leaves scattered along a dark road. The piece is painted with fine details that layer paint with textured strokes but also renders form with smooth discipline – similar to impressionism, but with more detail. Powell lets light and color prevail in her work, letting the mood settle into the audience.
This hyperrealism series presents a pleasingly cinematic story full of crime and sinister acts. Within the gallery, the images are spacious along its large white walls. The viewer closes in toward one painting and takes a few steps to another with a whole new scenario. It has the same effect as the pacing of an indie movie. They are capturing the rare moments people miss. This exhibition was purely interesting. It inspired me to continue a path in my illustrative career, creating work that minds the little things in life people look twice at and letting the brain flow.