Jasmina Danowski works in the tradition of process art, allowing her actions and their consequences to determine the outcome of her works. Danowski makes her own inks and paint, and often applies them to paper directly on the floor. She resists committing fully to the pictorial or abstract by endowing each mark with equal importance, forcing the viewer’s eyes to dart across the work, their attention actively moving from one sensuous, casual mark to the next. To look at a Danowski is to immerse oneself in a world of color and texture that is characterized by her gestural, tactile paint strokes and her pure delight in the act of mark making. In her abstract floral images, Danowski explores the contradictions of the austere and luxuriant, the totality and individuality of forms, and denotation and connotation.
Danowski’s work is rooted in Abstract Expressionism in appearance and technique. The artistic innovations of this period as well as the coinciding cultural tides of the 1950’s have provided her with a “powerful platform to venture with or against.” She often asks herself if her works can still be relevant in 2015 while standing alongside the familiar works of the movement, and is constantly working with and against its established visual language to create her present story. Her art is reminiscent of not only the gestural works of Abstract Expressionism, but Asian calligraphic art, and also brings to mind the directness of children’s art.
Fascinated with the physicality of her hand-made materials, Danowski constantly and spontaneously experiments with the manipulation of her medium. With her oil works, she resists the urge to dunk her canvas directly into the paint, and makes up for it instead with her thick and supple strokes layer upon layer. She works with the imperfections of the canvas and under-layers of paint: features she once hated she now realizes she loves. “All the bumps and knots that are underneath the surface, are really what make the painting.” Danowski works slowly and methodically, often allowing her unfinished works to sit untouched for weeks while she calculates her next move- she refuses to settle.
Born in Germany in 1960, Danowski received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1990, and her MFA from Bard College in 1997. She received the Pollock-Krasner Award twice, once in 2001 and again in 2005. Danowski has had numerous solo exhibitions, as well as group exhibitions at the Boston Center for the Arts, MA; Dumbo Arts Center Festival Exhibition in Brooklyn, NY; Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson, MS; at Spanierman Modern, NYC; and Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, MS.