De Novo Gallery founder Ryan Dattilo moved to D.C. two years ago after living in New York City, where he was very involved with the art community. He’s continued his involvement in D.C., recently joining the Washington Projects for the Art’s board, serving on the Hamiltonian Gallery External Review Panel and now opening De Novo Gallery. Dattilo aims to encourage all ages to experience the work of local and non-local artists in a welcoming environment. During his time in New York, Dattilo saw how much the art community can benefit the city’s young professionals and hopes to inspire that same engagement in Washington through De Novo Gallery.
“All Together Now” features artwork by Washington, DC-based artists Nara Park, Dean Kessmann, Adrienne Gaither, Tom Bunnell, Rex Delafkaran and Matthew Mann. These artists, whose creative practices include ceramics, photography, painting and sculpture, offer a glimpse into the works being made by visual artists living and working in Washington, DC today. Taken together, the artworks in “All Together Now” represent a collection of creative voices whose works vacillate between representation and abstraction, and are united by a playful use of color and material.
Nara Park is a sculptor and installation artist whose work reflects on memory, absence and mark-making. Parkoften makes use of industrial materials to create objects inspired by the landscapes we live in, the monuments we create and the traces we leave when we are gone.
Dean Kessmann’s photographs reflect an intense interest in the relationships between abstraction andrepresentation, physical objects and digital information, compression and expansion. Kessman creates work that is visually striking and intellectually engaging without becoming abstruse or insisting on being decoded.
Adrienne Gaither leverages shape, color, and composition in her paintings to encode a multitude of personal observations and messages. Gaither creates a visual language that serves as a personal form of resistance and catharsis.
Tom Bunnell is a painter whose abstract images take inspiration from the objects he encounters in daily life. The patterns found on seashells, honeycombs and street signs are among the motifs that repeat throughout his paintings on canvas and works on paper, which range in size from the intimate to the monumental.
Rex Delafkaran is an Iranian-American interdisciplinary artist, dancer and curator. Using movement, sculpture and ceramic objects, she explores the rich tensions between bodies, intimacy, language and identities.
Matthew Mann takes inspiration for his paintings from a range of visual references including art history, 19thcentury wallpaper patterns, graphics from punk ephemera, and the latest tech gadgets. His paintings overflowwith markers of cultural knowledge, both high and low, and consider what it means to be an artist and citizen living in a hyper-capitalist era.