Hard Thinker by Dana Blume March 24–May 13

Kirkland Arts Center Gallery will be presenting the exhibition, Hard Thinker, a collection of new works by
painter Dana Blume . On view from March 24th to May 13th, 2023, Hard Thinker brings together a
collection of canvas and works on paper. The opening reception was 6-8 PM on Friday, March
24th, 2023 at the KAC Gallery.

Set to graduate in June 2023, Blume is a current MFA candidate at the University of Washington in the
Painting & Drawing program, and is an alum of California University, Long Beach.
“I would say my practice is characterized by its lack of a strict adherence to specific forms in painting and
drawing,” Blume said. “I have never been comfortable with the idea of belonging to a school of thought (to
be an “abstract painter”, a “figurative painter”, a “painter who tells stories”, a “painter who reveals

Blurring distinctions between painting and drawing, Blume’s influence in cartooning, graffiti, calligraphy,
and mural painting is married with subjects from physicality of sport, masculinity, and interpersonal
communication. Although his work reads abstract, Blume is inspired by continuity and grandioseness of
the historical art history canon but breaks down the illusion with satire and mark-making.

“I like to play with the concerns and conventions found in the canon of history. There is something very
exciting to me about using the structures of historical narrative painting to depict something sluggish,
awkward and not heroic at all… or making enormous reproductions of loose leaf paper and massive
doodles to poke at the myths around abstraction,” said Blume. “With all that said, I really like thinking
about the fact that I’m more or less dealing with the same physical limitations of painting that artists
throughout history have dealt with, so there is a reverence and a kinship there.”

Blume’s deviation of traditional form making is compacted with personal memory and references to
California skate culture, bringing audiences into a swirling and at times grotesque world of our imagination
and subconsciousness.

“I find that Dana’s work engages on many levels – from the aesthetic to the intellectual. His wonderfully
satirical playfulness can be seen juxtaposed with the highest commitment to the mark-making process,“
said Miha Sarani, Director and Chief Curator of Kirkland Arts Center Gallery. “Dana’s work is
multifaceted, ranging from the socio-political commentary to the casually observational, from the
historically-established fine art to transgressive lowbrow pursuits. Dana – much like one of my favorite
artists, Philip Guston – gives birth to a new visual expression. It is an absolute thrill to exhibit his work.”

Information: exhibitions@kirkandartscenter.org

Kirkland Arts Center GALLERY HOURS:
Wednesday – Friday, 12 – 6 PM
Saturday, 12 – 4 PM

620 Market Street, Kirkland, WA 98033