Dani Robison is a sculptor and printmaker from Minneapolis, MN, currently abiding in Oakland, CA. After achieving degrees in printmaking and composition from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, Robison spent time living and working in New York City, Paris, Berlin and performed a residency in the West Fjords of Iceland. Robison’s current work explores stained glass techniques with reclaimed materials, merging the sublimity of church windows with the depravity of shattered liquor bottles. Robison’s work engages in art historical dialogue with artists ranging from Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Comfort Tiffany to Martin Puryear and Agnes Martin. She was recently invited to join the Prince Gallery in Petaluma, CA and will have a solo exhibition there in May 2016.
“I am driven to create work in which the process and the materials are as meaningful as the subject. Stained glass, the process I use, tends to be evocative primarily of church windows and secondarily of bourgeois Art Deco/Prairie School design styles. In both cases colored glass is exploited for its gem-like qualities to represent opulence and power. By using broken alcohol containers as my material I’m radically stripping away this opulence (although even in its colorlessness the glass surface remains lustrous and dynamic). Furthermore, the smashed liquor bottles suggest a cathartic rage, drunken oblivion, and somatic dysphoria. My highly improvisatory composition process augments the immediacy of the work. While there is certainly a critique of Christianity and the middle class that I can achieve through these juxtapositions, there is a coexistent aesthetic theology that honors the Christian tradition. I think it’s important that Art remain socio-politically engaged without becoming propagandistic, so I hold ambiguity close to my heart.”