Statement Agora Gallery August 2015:

DAVO’s artistic inclinations were fostered early in life, as she was born in a small town near Cologne, Germany, into a family of artists and performers. DAVO, who currently works from a studio in Wuppertal, creates paintings that form a balance between the abstract and the real. “The distance from what already exists, the refraction of realities, the change and reinterpretation of what is recognized is of great importance,” she says.

Often combining oil and acrylics, DAVO’s paintings alternate between the coarseness of half-revealed objects and the smoothness of fog or some form of ethereal haze. The semi-tangible objects of her paintings, revealed mainly by titles or the imaginations of her viewers, offer only the slightest intimations of their true forms. In this way, each painting becomes the midpoint, the meeting place, between the real and the imagined. DAVO typically works in series, an approach that allows her to experiment with connective elements like the position of shadows and colors. Among these elements, one remains a constant presence. “I am working with and in nature,” DAVO says. “Nature brings us closer to ourselves.”

German artist DAVO’s paintings waver between atmospheric landscape and pure abstraction. Born Dagmar Vogt, DAVO describes her process as “creating new levels of artistic reality” by combining recognizable symbols and a distinctive graphic language. In her more representational work, she chooses long views of the land that open the canvas up spatially. Vast perspectives of mountain ranges and endless plains stretch across the compositions, with the depth carefully denoted in delicate layers of color. Clouds crawl across the sky and obscure the terrain until the horizon is a mass of gentle textures. In this more obstructed terrain, her landscapes are linked clearly with her abstract works. It is in these more non-representational pieces wherein DAVO explores further color relationships, dissolving textures, and decentralized compositions.

To create her complex palettes and brushwork, DAVO paints in acrylic, oil, and polish, and she often mixes the former two on a single canvas. She works with many shades of the same color and eschews the usual range of light to dark in favor of a more concentrated interrogation of tone.
DAVO uses small, easy strokes to produce images of varying clarity; sometimes her shapes are clear and controlled, and sometimes they simply melt into one another. Even within a single work, she can and will often create a classically precise subject against a mysterious, nondescript background. Combining elements of everything from Impressionism to color field painting, DAVO is always “working with and in nature. Nature brings us closer to ourselves.”

DAVO was born near Cologne, Germany and still lives in the area, maintaining a studio in Wuppertal. Though she is a full-time professional artist, she has lectured at art schools and community colleges on painting and design.