Jasmina Danowski (b. 1960)
Evoking sensual worlds of luminous emanation, Jasmina Danowski creates vibrant abstract compositions in oil and allkyd on panel and in ink and gesso on paper in which color, texture, and mark form fields of connection and interaction, spontaneous rhythm and thoughtful restraint. As in the art of Joan Mitchell, Danowski's paintings carries reminiscences of nature and still life, but their force is associative rather than literal, evoking the feeling of being in, aroused by, or moving through flowers and landscapes or time and space. Making her own ink and paint and working on the floor, Danowski explores the implications that result during the creative process; she follows her marks to points of decision and logical consequences, exploring the middleground between the abstract and pictorial, between the totality and individuality of forms, and between denotation and connotation. In Baby Needs New Shoes (2008), vaguely floral shapes cascade with confetti exhilaration, evoking the moments of extreme comedic physicality in the films of Buster Keaton, of which the artist is enamored. As John Yau recently wrote of such works: "Danowski's uninhibited delight in mark making is rare in contemporary painting, and the anti-puritanical strain running through her work is certainly one of its distinguishing characteristics. It is as if the brushwork, which owes something to both Asian calligraphic art and a potter's hands-on directness, is further informed by the opulent vision of paradise found in Persian Miniatures (another affinity she shares with [Howard] Hodgkin), the material insistence of the gestural brushwork that we associate with Abstract Expressionism, and Fairfield Porter's uncanny ability to reveal the extraordinary beauty of ordinary life. The artist has pulled off the unlikely possibility of infusing nature abstraction with a celebratory vision that edges up against the primordial. Everything is in a state of formation and deformation" ("Abundance and Austerity," Spanierman Modern, forthcoming).
Danowski was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and received her B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute (1990), and her M.F.A. from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (1997). She received two Pollock-Krasner awards (2001 and 2005) and has shown her work at Boston Center for the Arts; Dumbo Arts Center Festival, Brooklyn; Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson; Simon's Rock College, Great Barrington, Massachusetts; Spanierman Modern, New York; the Westfield State Downtown Art Gallery, Massachusetts; and Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina . Her work is in the collections of the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, and Westfield State University, Massachusetts.