Night Gallery is delighted to announce High Hell, a show of new work by Mira Dancy. This is the artist’s third solo exhibition at Night Gallery.
The paintings in High Hell depict stoic figures at the entrance of an abyss, an environment of high emotion and sensory distortion. We find ourselves situated at multiple temporalities at once: we are arriving, and thus our encounter marks a beginning and a first glimpse, but what is here is eternal, preceding us and succeeding us infinitely.
Dancy's signature graphic lines and layered, hyperpigmented forms are on display here, creating an atmosphere of turbulence, destruction, and regeneration. The figures who stand in the center of these scenes simultaneously stand apart from their environments and incorporate the jagged patterns of the outside into their own forms, suggesting a profound dislocation: the world seeping into the subject at the expense of the self. But these bodies have not fully disintegrated, and where they remain solid we find the continued possibility of defiance. Though sensuous, these figures meet the viewer with poses of sturdy solemnity. They are, in the artist’s words, “statues of no origin,” monuments to sobriety in the face of catastrophe. As the artist writes, “There is a certain celibate angle to the fact of being a warrior, a certain sacrifice to any kind of task mastering, world-arranging reconstructive work we need now.” We are reminded in these paintings of grace in discipline, to the timelessness of resistance, of the perennial possibility of ourselves as the soldiers for our own salvation.
Mira Dancy (b. 1979) received her M.F.A. from Columbia University in 2009, and her B.A. from Bard College in 2001. She has had solo exhibitions at Night Gallery; Chapter NY (New York, NY); Galerie Hussenot (Paris, France); and the Yuz Museum (Shanghai). Her work is included in LACMA's permanent collection. In 2015 she was included in Greater New York at MoMA PS1. Dancy's work has been covered in The New York Times, Art in America, Artforum, Vogue, Kaleidoscope, and ArtNews, among other publications. She lives and works in New York.