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Exhibition of richly hued photographic collages by Dana Montlack opens at Joseph Bellows Gallery
Dana Montlack, SIO12. Lambda prints mounted to aluminum.
LA JOLLA, CA.- Dana Montlack: Sea of Cortez was recently organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and was exhibited there from September 21st, 2013 – January 12, 2014. Joseph Bellows Gallery exhibits these richly hued photographic collages that both isolate and abstract biological specimens into fascinating graphic elements.

Montlack’s present work blurs the imagined borders between the perceived physical fragment and its true, more mysterious underlying reality. Through this perception, she dissects and magnifies elements from the natural world (the photographs of cells Montlack incorporates in her photographic collage works, are as small as 0.2 micrometers and are magnified as much as 7766 times), and then juxtaposes them in myriad ways. In so doing, she hopes to reveal a sense of the connectedness of all things.

In her newest body of work, Sea of Cortez, the artist directly references John Steinbeck’s The Log from the Sea of Cortez (1951). Steinbeck’s book recounts his six-week expedition through the Gulf of California with marine biologist Ed Ricketts. Part intertidal taxonomy, part ecological travelogue, the book considers themes of home, mapping, and environmental harmony. Working collaboratively with the scientists and staff members at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Birch Aquarium, Montlack selected and photographed specimens and charts from the waterways Steinbeck explored. By isolating and layering this source imagery, drawn from the vast Scripps Oceanographic Collections, Montlack crafts a new taxonomy of place.

Dana Montlack holds a BFA in sculpture from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a MFA in mixed media from the Otis Parsons College of Art and Design, Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide and is within numerous public and private collections.

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