For Students
Mark di Suvero, Shang Mark di Suvero, Orion Beverly Pepper, Ternary Marker Lucas Samaras, Stiff Box No. 12 Erwin Binder, Requiem Michele Oka Doner, Angry Neptune, Salacia, and Strider Charles Ginnever, Daedalus

Outdoor Sculpture: Michele Oka Doner

Michele Oka Doner
United States, born 1945
Angry Neptune, Salacia, and Stride
Cast bronze
Museum purchase made possible by a bequest from Clarence and Ruth Roy, the W. Hawkins Ferry Fund, and the support of the artist, 2009/1.466-468

6. Michele Oka Doner

In her recent sculptural work, the artist (and University of Michigan alumna) Michele Oka Doner has returned to making monumental, figural sculptures—a return that has been characterized as heroic at a time when life-sized sculpture has long been critically out of favor. The three monumental figures placed between the Museum and Tappan Hall to the east are at once dense and fragmented, the thick undergrowth of texture revealing inner voids and complex strands of bronze of extraordinary technical complexity. Majestic yet seemingly crippled, these headless forms—hand burnished and patinated by the artist—evoke ancient, fossilized totems, their surface scarrings suggestive of the decay both of natural forces and of passing time. The artist has a long-standing interest in the natural world, and the three figures positioned here in a kind of timeless, abstracted conversation, ask us to consider the sacred qualities of nature.