Dane Carder's Proof of Ghosts
When: Opening reception 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 14. Exhibit will stay up through May 24.
Where: Belmont's Leu Gallery
Much of the imagery in Dane Carder’s paintings is pulled from original Civil War photographs, but his best work is far from photorealistic. Although Carder has always painted straight-ahead portraits and group scenes of soldiers and slaves in the midst of the conflict, those canvases are not as compelling as Carder’s abstracted figures and forms — shimmering, warped and displaced behind watery veils of time, memory and mourning.
While it’s difficult to comprehend what is pictured in a painting like “Boom,” it’s not hard to understand the fact that the dramatic arrangement of repetitive figures is marked on the artist’s website as “sold.” The people in these images are reduced to dark blobs of brown and black, made faceless by the vast madness of war and the capacity for history to assemble a tragic whole out of specific, individual terrors. Proof of Ghosts is a new show of paintings and photographs of Civil War re-enactors, offering a glimpse at the conflict twice removed.