Michele Oka Doner has spent more than four decades blurring the boundaries between art and design. Best-known for creating one of the world’s largest public art installations – the one-and-a-quarter mile Walk on the Beach at Miami International Airport, comprising more than 9,000 bronze marine plants and organisms embedded in terrazzo – the Miami-born, New York-based artist/designer’s oeuvre ranges from jewellery to monumental sculptures. And her smaller-scale pieces can be found in the permanent collections of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musée des Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre in Paris and London’s V&A.
No wonder then that there is a frisson of excitement among collectors about her London selling exhibition that opens on Wednesday November 18. Combining limited editions from the past 20 years with new work, it promises to be one of the most significant shows held by David Gill Gallery this year.
In myriad forms and materials (from glass to bronze and precious metals), the pieces on show (£10,000-£70,000) are unified by the themes of nature and the cosmos. The Burning Bush, for example, is one of her favourite symbols, reimagined in 1995 as an arresting floor-standing candelabrum with cast-bronze branches (first picture; there are later versions from 2007 and 2013 too). Vase 2000 is a flowing, geyser-like form in sterling silver (three sizes, all made in 2000), while the mouth-blown-glass Ocean Reef bowl (second picture) from the Steuben Reef collection (2005) sits in a cast bronze, coral-like cradle.
Other highlights include the sterling silver Cosmic vessel (2006, third picture), with its graceful, asymmetric rim, the patinated bronze Celestial stool (1990) and the soaring sculpture Underwater City Epergne (2006, fourth picture). But it is the new work that fans will be particularly excited to see: the impressive bronze Ice Ring bench, circular Radiant table (fifth picture) and sculptural sterling-silver ice bucket, all made in 2015, will not disappoint.