No Man's Land
About No Man’s Land
Melanie Daniel’s fifth and latest solo-exhibition at Asya Geisberg Gallery, No Man’s Land, is a timely body of work that shows both the present experience of the pandemic, when many find themselves unable to move beyond state and country borders, as well as a future ravaged by climate change. Daniel’s work shares the same ghostly quality as James Ensor’s, with distorted figures in garishly bright colors that melt across the canvas. Her paintings combine images of twisted trees with nostalgic video game iconography and words such as “game over” to convey an imagined world following a climate disaster.
Although titled No Man’s Land, her work often features women, since that’s who bear the brunt of social change. “I’m especially drawn to the women, mothers, sisters, [and] friends who sacrificed so much to preserve life’s momentum,” Daniel has said. Her work shows a dystopian universe that serves as a chillingly beautiful reminder of the impending climate crisis.
About Melanie Daniel
Melanie Daniel is a Canadian artist whose work “is about two dirty words that worry most millennials and make all politicians squeamish: climate change.” Especially relevant after a year that felt apocalyptic, she uses bright colors, nostalgic symbols, and images of women to show a future where humans struggle to exist.
“Daniel creates futuristic scenarios in which human beings struggle to recover their past lives after a major climate disaster. Figures are languid in acid-colored forests; trees melt and transform into tube socks; limbs turn translucent as if the subjects are dissolving into the earth.”
“Her non-place surroundings are reminiscent of jungle clearings and scorched forests, where the trees are scarred and chopped, the water is acidic and the backgrounds swirl around the central protagonists, whether people or objects, with a restless tempo that leaves no room for the imagined tranquility.”