Dante Cannatella


19.01 – 25.02 2023

January 19 to February 25, 2023
Opening: January 19th, 5 to 8 PM

Bradley Ertaskiran is pleased to present Rêverie, a solo exhibition of new works by New York-based painter Dante Cannatella in the Bunker. This exhibition constitutes the artist’s first solo exhibition in Canada.

Wherein Cannatella’s paintings have often focused on autobiographical storytelling, here, the artist melds landscape with figuration into expressive dreamscapes. On one canvas, a gangly red-clad creature lays on a forest or celestial bed of deep green and blue swirls. In another, a pair of abstracted figures recline in a surrealist interior, the hazy bleached tones evoking a trance-like state. Experimenting with oil paint and wax and resin mixtures, Cannatella carefully renders some sections in thick saturated outlines and leaves others washed in a single encompassing brushstroke, leaving the scene to be completed by memory or imagination alone.

In this vein of intimacy and memory, Cannatella’s new body of work pulls inspiration from philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space (1958), which posits that daydreaming is the means by which individuals can extend beyond their immediate world. Yet, Cannatella’s paintings are not limited to his own dreams or memories, neatly categorized and bound to a specific moment or place, but rather capture the fleetingness of a memory felt all of a sudden and all at once. They elicit a yearning and impermanence brought on by a blur of colour and shape and glimpses of people known and unknown, all morphed into one.

Without narrative markers, Cannatella’s scenes function as titular reveries, more pleasant escape than story, but ever as evocative. In past work, the artist’s lively gestures reflected growing up amidst the destruction and rebuilding of New Orleans, showing his hometown succumbed to powerful forces. Here, Cannatella’s scenes seem equally turbulent with often contradictory energies, but it is unclear whether the chaos comes from within. Fiery reds meet acid greens with swooping, stormy ripples of paint, sometimes constituting the figures themselves. Cannatella and his characters seem privy to a turbulent subconscious, wherein energy boils right beneath the surface of the mind, the body, and the canvas, and with it, the storm’s eventual calm.

Born in New Orleans and based in Brooklyn, Dante Cannatella is an emerging painter whose work centers on abstract, gestural scenes of evocative figures and landscapes. Cannatella holds a Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College (New York) and a bachelor’s from the University of New Orleans.  His work has been shown at Shoot the Lobster (New York); Tube Culture Hall (Milan); Galerie Hussenot (Paris); MASSIMODECARLO; The Fireplace Project (East Hampton); UUU Art Collective (Rochester), and has been published in New American Paintings (2022).

To visit Dante Cannatella’s website, click here.