Hartnett Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition ‘You Are Full of Magic,” which features drawings and works on paper by artist Danielle Rante. ‘You Are Full of Magic” opened on Friday, Sept. 12 and will be on display through Sunday, Oct. 5.
Walking along the expansive walls of the gallery, you cannot help but notice the delicate nature of Rante’s artwork. The material used resembles rice paper a diluted parchment that seems ready to crumble with just one touch. The pieces float along the gallery’s walls, rendering an ethereal feel to Rante’s artistic works. Mammoth creations are suspended from the ceiling or even laid on the floor of the gallery to create a more wholesome ambiance. Each piece exemplifies her meticulous attention to detail. Different textures are juxtaposed with unique patterns to create refreshing new dimensions. Organic shapes are portrayed with geometric motifs achieved through a masterful use of graphite, colored pencil, shadowing and cutouts.
Upon viewing the gallery, Rante’s statement on her artwork proved to ring true. Rante is especially interested in the presentation and installation of the work. She chooses to hang her drawings by straight pins, lays them on the floor or projects and suspends them to create an installation where the viewer, the walls and the space are activated by subtle movements, shadows and a tranquil presence. Each piece is able to stand alone; however, Rante chooses not to title any of the works with the ultimate ambition of having all her collective work being viewed as one enchanting installation.
According to Rante, she approaches each of her drawings as an exploration of and investigation into her response to the minute details around her. Her inherent instincts guide her artistic vision; she chooses to follow her subconscious rather than question it. The drawings are infused with biological, decorative and feminine imagery, as well as references to music, science and Eastern philosophy. The paper as a medium, Rante explained, provides different entry points for the viewer, so the work suggests something beyond image and projects physicality.
The only criticism that I found with the exhibition was the unfinished sensation that I had as I stood in the gallery. Rante’s artwork was showcased in a space far too large and overbearing for her airy and subtle work. While I admire her innovative approach to embracing the nuances of shadows, natural movement and color, I feel that perhaps she could have arranged the artwork in a divergent fashion that promoted a sense of closure as opposed to emptiness. The white walls of the gallery cloaked the faint hues of the paper. Perhaps, if Rante had chosen a darker-colored background, her pieces could have been more pronounced and the space could seem more inhabited.
Rante currently resides in Indianapolis, Ind. She received an M.F.A. degree from the University of Iowa and a B.F.A. degree from the University of Toronto. She will be a guest artist and exhibitor at the second China Sanbao International Printmaking Exhibition and Symposium, opening in Jingdezhen and traveling around China. Take a moment to step into Harnett Gallery and appreciate Rante’s artistic testament to the world around her.
Venkateswaran is a member of the class of 2011.