"Bathing in a forest, trekking in an ocean. So much of the ways in which I see life’s experiences have changed. Interconnectedness has become a guiding principle and the most important theme in my artworks. Growing up in the Black Hills, beautiful, scenic, sacred nature was integral to my world."
Jordana Rae Gassner was born in the year of the dragon, 1976, in the Black Hills, SD, USA. She began working at age 14 within the fashion industry which helped to influence her later decision to direct her own creative arts endeavors. Her later experiences working at her family’s gallery before beginning studies in Psychology, Literature and Philosophy, helped to refine her focus towards two-dimensional paintings and small sculpture.
She obtained her Bachelors of Arts in 1999. Mostly, her art practice was confined to watercolor and acrylic painting until 2005 when she and her small family moved to Seattle, WA. There, she was able to re-commence learning to paint with oil painting materials. In 2007, she again relocated, this time to Regensburg, one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. Ironically, the overwhelming “European-ness” of her new home had her yearning to create artworks reminiscent of her abstract expressionist fore-fathers and mothers in America.
Taking three template views of creation: the molecular, the more or less "figurative" and the cosmic, she switches between these images in attempts to re-awaken a knowing connectedness of all things. Having wanted to save the world since she was 7, art became a way to change the discussion. Her oil paintings are a nod to her predecessors' use of abstract expressionism and a return to classical mastery of spike lavender, turpentine, pigments, flax and wood supports. There is an intense feeling in her works to activate and promote safe spaces for new ideas and ways of being. Jordana's works can sometimes be complicated, but always seem to find a metranomic rhythm and flow.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist