Renowned Washington artist, Joan Danziger, works in a phantasmagorical world populated with animals, nature, and myths. Delving into metaphor and psychology, Danziger's sculptures range from playfully surreal to symbolically potent. As the artist describes, "[My sculptures] are reaching into the heart of nature to evoke mysterious and secret worlds which draw upon my fascination with dream imagery and metamorphosis."
Born in 1934 in Queens and educated at Cornell University, Danziger started her art career as an abstract painter. After turning to sculpture, her oeuvre has encompassed large-scale animals to Lilliputian fantastical scenes, and, more recently, prolonged series on trees and beetles. Currently, metal sculptures of horses and ravens hold her attention.
In her recent series, Danziger found direct inspiration from Franz Marc's expressionist paintings of horses. In her 2018 International Art & Artists-produced catalog, Georgetown University professor Ori Soltes describes her process: "A stiffer sort of metal substructure that [...] sometimes uses both silver and copper wire–as well as gold, amber, peacock-blue, purple, burgundy, and brown materials–is not wrapped around with slabs of colored glass; these are, rather, interspersed in and through the wire, offering a kind of visual bridge between the stridency of a Franz Marc painting and the sensitive play on light that resonates from the Impressionists."
Time-consuming and technically demanding, Danziger forms her sculptures from the inside out. The action-filled poses of her animals create the frozen moment of drama, evoking alternatively playfulness, exhilaration, danger, or other high emotion.
Danziger has exhibited nation-wide, and has work in many collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; the Artery Corporation, Chevy Chase, MD; National Sporting Library & Museum of Middleburg, VA; Grounds For Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ; Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA; New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ; and the American University Museum at the Katzen Art Center, Washington, DC.