KCRW Art Insider Reviews Dani Tull

Lindsay Preston Zappas, KCRW Art Insider, June 8, 2021

Top 3 This Week: Dani Tull at Diane Rosenstein Gallery


In Hollywood, Dani Tull's new exhibition of paintings mine the personal and the cosmic. In each work, thin lines of color grouped together in bands, which the artist calls "streams," flow across the canvas in delicate arcs before trailing off in little tendrils. Within each band, the color shifts from earthy browns to hot pinks-some progress in gentle gradients, while others feel more dissonant and sudden.


Splashy washes or gentle atmospherics serve as backgrounds in which Tull's streams nest and noodle around each other into an array of harmonious compositions. Each work, which includes four or five streams in various sizes, begins to feel like a kind of familial portrait (and a bit like a family, each one possesses a unique color, size, shape, yet all contribute to the overall order of the composition). Beneath the linear abstractions lie lines of text culled from poets, friends, and loved ones, with Tull's color choices also referring to specific family members and memories. Yet, the artist also seems to be reaching towards a larger universality that ultimately is ordered and balanced, despite rock paths and unexpected turns. Together, the paintings celebrate relationships and connectedness, both familial and cosmic.


Gallery Talk: Dani Tull - Embedding Hidden Sentimentality


Dani Tull's thin paint lines, or "streams," all have specific memories attached to them.


"The color combinations chosen for the streams are usually sourced from meaningful life experiences," he says. "For example, one stream of colors might be derived from my memory of an event or past experience that I don't have a photograph of, or the colors of my late grandfather's vintage flannel shirt... Some borrow color from other artworks such as a landscape painting by my mother, or even the color palettes from my own previous bodies of work."


However abstract, Tull's paintings become highly personal and almost autobiographical.


"These personal recollections and representations embed the abstract forms in my paintings with an inherent sentimental narrative," he explains. Further sentiment comes in by way of the inscribed text that Tull lays down beneath his nostalgically-hued pigments. Most of the words are completely obscured, and Tull describes them as underpaintings, but adds that "these elements are the essential foundation for paintings that I hope can become part of a larger shared engagement."