Circle foundation for the Arts

Gunilla Daga

" The compelling drama of energized suspension pervades all of Gunilla Daga’s art."

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Females Charcoal and oil pastel on paper 20 x 24 cm

Living in Stockholm, Sweden, Gunilla Daga produces art which, in John Austin’s words, is “drawn out of private experience, reaches out in universal terms to touch everyone on different levels."  Her use of earth tones and primitive shapes reveal a sensitive delicacy. Daga mixes red iron oxide, bone black and titanium white to achieve a sophisticated pattern that produces an organic aesthetic. Daga’s paintings are connected to each other, each image being born from the previous and forming a series of works where the artist investigates not only the nature of the materials at hand but seems to push each shape to take different forms and each time, bring forward a new vocabulary.

 Daga studied at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Gerlesborgsskolan in Bohuslän (1990-3) and Gerlesborgsskolan in Stockholm (1988-90). She is a member of Swedish Artists’ National Organization, IAA International Association of Art. She has exhibited in Paris, Italy, Poland, New York, Norway, Slovenia, and Sweden. She has been an Artist in Residence at NARS Foundation, Brooklyn, New York where she will return in the Spring of 2017. Daga had a personal show at Artifact Gallery in Lower East Side, New York 2015 and has participated at Art Expo NY and Spectrum Miami with ArtUpClose. Her art has been featured on Times Square Billboards 2014 with SeeMe and she has received the ArtSlant Showcase Prize in 2012.

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“In the form of her acrylic painting this measured sense of anticipation seems to arise spontaneously and naturally out of working process. This working style, so geared to the flows and ebbs of creative energies has been honed over time in order to exploit certain factors and conditions. Gunilla Daga’s methodology favors the elusive and chance occurrence working hand-in-hand with conscious deliberation.

Much of the artist’s process-oriented work has a constructed look but it is a construction that seems tentative, filled with contingency. This process gracefully brings home the point that the universe, while seemingly stilled is yet unpredictable at its core, ready to change and alter its state of being from one moment to the next. In effect, the artist is deeply immersed in delineating for us, the viewers, what she perceives as an elemental condition of life, which finds its equilibrium through an interior force of counter-harmonies. The delicate compositional balance that pervades each piece suggests, then, a momentary state of quiet and stillness within flux. This suggestion of a temporary surcease from the strains of life while poetically filled with intimations of voids and silence denergies allows the artist, nevertheless, to communicate a flurry of tensions and of struggle in her work.

Lingering in its position it offers us a visual analogy of being psychically suspended between heaven and earth, hovering between oppositions and between differences. In looking closely at the artist’s painitngs we are swayed by the mysterious rightness of her coloration which animates her planes, as in ‘From the Other Side’ and ‘Red Heat’. But what gives us pause, what stops the eye and makes it marvel at the hand of Gunilla Daga is her capacity to find that Archimedian point, acting as a perceptual lever, which upends visual expectations. This transformative effect, where materials assume another life beyond the prosaic is the hallmark of a great artist. It is artmaking’s ultimate prize: to recognize limits only to transcend them through the imaginative capacity.”

- Published by Artifact Gallery, Lower East Side, NYC 2015.