Front Gallery

Dana Melamed: Natural Suspension

April 15 through May 22, 2020
Opening reception: April 17, 2020, 6-8 PM

Dana Melamed, "In Passage", 2019, clay, acrylic and ink on paper, 39 x 28 inches. Image #1667


Dana Melamed: Natural Suspension
April 15 – May 22, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, April 17, 6–8pm
Artist Talk: Sunday, May 3, 2:30pm

Natural Suspension, Dana Melamed’s third solo exhibition with Lesley Heller, is an exploration of the power struggle between humanity and nature. The works—large and small scale layered sculptures and drawings—explore abstracted depictions of man-made structures dissolving into a natural landscape.

Melamed is fascinated with the development of the city from an architectural, social and historical, point of view. This long-term interest has influenced her process of layering deconstructed forms made of paper, transparency film, wire and aluminum; often forcing opposing materials together such as acrylic paint and clay, or paper and vellum, creating a delicate balance between the natural and man-made.

Melamed’s sculptures are created by carving and shaping cholla (a cactus root), then adding layers of paper onto the carves and cuts. Cholla—native to Sonora and the Southwestern United States—is strongly tuberculate, referencing her interests in the body, nature and the industrial. The sculptures feature a naturalist approach to structure with different planes of perspective which not only suggest Vladimir Tatlin’s Tower, but also the suspension and gravity applied to the construction of space. 

In her drawings Melamed creates a unique and self-contained urban landscape which develops and expands organically. Her assemblages correspond to imaginary urban topography and form intricate, chaotic, and complex spaces. This sense of nature redeems the idea of the imaginary landscape, while their heavily stressed surfaces suggest industrial ruins. Melamed’s use of a blowtorch to scar and shred the surface of her drawings trigger thoughts of a post-human world in which fires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes or acts of human aggression are omni-present. The works in Natural Suspension thus suggest a narrative of dystopia and hold a mirror to the current turmoil regarding the environment.


Dana Melamed (b. 1972, Tel Aviv, Israel) studied architecture and art history at Ort Technicum Givatayim, Israel (1990) and attended the Vital Tel Aviv visual art school (1995). Her works have been exhibited in museums like the National Academy in Manhattan, the Neuberger Museum in Purchase NY and Hunterdon Museum in NJ, the Durst Organization in NY, as well as leading galleries in the USA & Europe. She has works in the Frenkels Foundation for the Arts’ permanent collection and the University of Michigan Museum’s permanent collection, the Louis-Dreyfus Family Collection, as well as numerous international private collections. She is also alumni of the Artist Studio Program of the Museum of Art & Design (MAD) in NYC. Dana Melamed is based in New York City.