Contemporary furniture by Michele Oka Doner

May 8, 2016 by Laura Gomez


Michele Oka Doner is an internationally renowned artist whose career spans four decades. Among her creations are some decorative objects including contemporary furniture.

The breadth of her artistic production encompasses sculpture, furniture, jewelry, public art, functional objects, video, as well as costume and set design. Whether large scale architectural projects or intimately scaled objects, Michele work is fueled by a lifelong study and appreciation of the natural world, from which she derives her formal vocabulary.
The sculptures and decorative objects—candelabras, tableware, and accessories—she creates recall organic forms, resembling bark, tree roots, microscopic molecules, and the human body.

Her objects explore the issues of how we live. Devoted to bringing a heightened awareness into everyday life, Oka Doner’s pieces fill human utilitarian necessities, while bringing significance and grace into everyday rituals.

From the beginning of her career, Oka Doner faced the challenge of combining her activity in the studio with the reconciliation of the rituals in daily life. She responded to this challenge by utilizing her studio as a laboratory for living; her work becoming a noble experiment. Oka Doner’s art is molded by her lifelong appreciation for the natural world, drawing significant influence by the forms and textures from ecological elements and their evolution.

Over the course of her career, her vivid childhood memories have continued to take shape in all manner of media — from terra-cotta and glass to bronze and precious metals, and in all sizes from delicate pieces of jewelry to monumental public works.

Over the course of her career she has created several important pieces of public art, including Radiant Site (1991), a groundbreaking tile installation in the New York subway system, and A Walk on the Beach (1995), a two-and-a-half-mile-long concourse at the Miami International Airport of dark terrazzo inlaid with bronze and mother-of-pearl. She is represented by Marlborough Gallery.

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