by Kylie BrooksDanae Mattes is a California-based contemporary artist who works with untraditional, natural materials to create riveting and masterful artworks of organic abstraction. Mattes’s evaporation pools explore the properties of water when mixed with earth, and our physical and emotional relationship to such natural phenomena. The artist, long fascinated by water, feels that a river’s state of flux is a metaphor for life, as change is a constant of the human experience. Mattes’s evaporation pool artworks, created from primarily clay and water, evolve and transform over the course of about three months, as the materials settle and congeal, and the water evaporates. The continuous evolution in the first weeks gives the work a dynamic sense of tension and transition as surface textures emerge such as rivulets, cracks, and deep crevices.
Danae Mattes was born in Rochester, Pennsylvania. Mattes earned her BFA from Edinboro State University in 1980 followed by her MFA from Long Beach State University in 1984. Mattes has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, particularly in Germany, where she has held numerous fellowships and where a number of commissioned works can be found.