June 2020

Remembering While Looking

Diana Abells & Dan Jian


Show Statement

Remembering While Looking is a two-person exhibition featuring the work of artists Dan Jian and Diana Abells. Although working from two different mediums, Jian and Abells share a common interest in the use of abstraction and diverse mark-making to engage with found images and the mundane. Through a process of collage, both artists explore shifts in meaning by re-contextualizing the familiar, making new points of connection between objects, places, and narrative. Jian, working with oil on paper, and Abells, working in video animation, draw a link between pop culture motifs and everyday images. Together, their work examines how culture builds myths, defines what’s ordinary, and incites emotion. The new narratives they create question the embedded political force in our media-saturated daily life as they seek experiences of originality and continuity in a collective experience.

Artists Bio

Diana Abells (b. 1989, Massachusetts) is a visual artist based in Columbus, Ohio.  Working across the mediums of video, installation, and drawing, she engages a process of collage to explore shifts in meaning between familiar objects, places, and situations.  Mixing found footage and personal narratives, she delves into uncanny experiences.  Abells completed her BA in studio art and physics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2011. In 2015 she earned her MFA from The Ohio State University.  She teaches as a lecturer for the Department of Art at The Ohio State University, focusing on art and technology.  Abells has recently shown her work at Portmanteau Project Space in Dayton, The Mini Microcinema in Cincinnati, VisArts outside Washington DC, and at the Wassaic Project in New York.  She has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, the Wassaic Project, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland Artist House.

Portfolio site: dianabells.info

Dan Jian (b.1986, Lichuan, China) creates visual work that explores an inner world of stored images and reflects on the changing spaces of landscape, narrative, and memory. Jian’s work has recently been exhibited at Organhaus Contemporary Art Space in Chongqing, China; Roy G Biv Gallery and Riffe Gallery, OH; Western Colorado Center for the Arts, CO; The Carnegie, KY; and Emerge Gallery & Art Space, NY. Her awards and endorsements include a Certificate of Merit from the Philadelphia Watercolor Society, as well as Finalist for the Don Bachardy Fellowship, London. Jian’s recent residencies include the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center.  Jian received her BFA from the Tyler School of Art, and her MFA from The Ohio State University with a minor in Comparative Studies. Dan recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor in drawing at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.

Portfolio site: danjian.info

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