Michele Oka Doner

marlene lopez

(Oka Doner, Michele) Michele Oka Doner is an internationally renowned artist whose career spans five decades. She is the author of five books, including Into the Mysterium. Oka Doner’s work is found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Musée des Arts Décoratifs (the Louvre), the Victoria & Albert, Yale University Art Gallery, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and The Detroit Institute of Arts, among others. The common thread running through Oka Doner’s oeuvre is her lifelong study and appreciation of the natural world from which she derives her formal vocabulary. In Everything is Alive (Regan Arts), this vocabulary hones in on magic, enchantment, and transformation as one is led through the artistic processes behind some of Oka Doner’s prominent art installations. Four essayists, Judith Thurman, Joseph Giovannini, Cynthia Nadelman, and Gregory Volk, serve as guides through Oka Doner’s evolution as an artist and creation of these installations, which are brought to life on the page through stunning photographs, original process sketches and inspirations. Everything is Alive shines a light on the continuing importance of permanent installations of art and the worldview that there is beauty to be found in all living things. Oka Doner’s art book, Intuitive Alphabet (tra.publishing), also pays homage to a world of discovery by presenting the glyphic forms embedded in shells, sponges, and other natural forms she found, collected, and curated during her frequent walks on the beach. The result is an alphabet book that carries a much larger message about looking and seeing, as well as insights into the way in which language evolved and is still learned today.