Revisiting Michele Oka Doner’s Partial, Absorbing Figurative Sculptures

by Andy SmithPosted on

Michele Oka Doner‘s long career has produced bold sculpture, works on paper, and public art that engrosses in both its appreciation of the natural world and innovation. Her figurative works, in specific, use partially formed and seemingly organic parts to inspire awe. Many named for gods and goddesses, these particular works feel at once godly and incomplete or reflections of our limitations.

“The breadth of her artistic production encompasses sculpture, design objects, furniture, jewelry, public art and video installations,” a statement offers. “Michele Oka Doner’s work is fueled by a lifelong study and appreciation of the natural world, from which she derives her formal vocabulary. Her work encompasses materials including glass, bronze and silver and in a variety of scales she mirrors the world around her – from the small and intimate to the large and magnificent.”

This works arrive on this side of her career, which has spanned differing meditations and eras on similar concepts. The artist’s work is part of collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and several others. Her most recent book is titled “Mysterium”, released just last year.

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