Over the past two decades, Michele Oka Doner’s work has drawn sustenance from the world of nature. Her organic designs emerge from a process Oka Doner calls “evolutionary,” offering a space for the individual to reflect on her forms which blur the distinction between nature and art.
Oka Doner’s work is more than an aesthetic melding of naturally and unnaturally occurring shapes. Her art merges practical use of objects with the ideal of a natural spirit; she often speaks of the metaphor of the kitchen, the place where practical functions necessary for physical survival meet the powerful rituals crucial for spiritual existence. The artist is deeply and perennially concerned with “art in use,” creating tools and implements of often surprising shape and size. For example, convoluted, water-choreographed stalks of seaweed measuring nearly two feet in length become a set of salad servers of epic proportions. In a way she is re-introducing society to nature with the very utensils that separates humanity from its environment.
Michele Oka Doner is an internationally acclaimed artist. Her works can be found in many public collections, including: American Museum of Natural History, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Michigan Botanical Gardens, Michigan; Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, Canada; The National Design Museum-Smithsonian Institution; The National Design Museum, New York; Philip Morris Collection, New York; The RAND Corporation; Syz Collection, Switzerland; The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Michigan and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.