Observing the paintings of Daniella Klausner, one is drawn into a diverse world of colors, landscapes, figures, objects, materials – some obvious and clear, some only hinted at, but altogether build a homogenous web, with solid, realistic roots bearing twined branches which grow into the realms of imagination and vision.
Daniella contends that her creative starting point is always the material itself. It never ceases to surprise: acrylic and coal, plaster and paper, wood and iron, jute cloth and mortar. During the process of working, these often reach such a degree of transparency, till it seems they lose their materiality and give birth to different artistic techniques and surprising combinations. These constantly populate Daniella's painting with an impressive co-existence of strong and delicate brush-strokes, carefully defined and almost abstract smears of colors, an almost invisible, very thin line which begins its path, and, as if regretting, tracks its way back. The different techniques used by Daniella, bring together hand and brush work, photographing, etching, plaster patches and captions. All these often turn the artistic process into an experimental project which involve knowledge, skill, endless curiosity and novelty. The final result is, once again, surprising: "things mature during work", elaborates Daniella, "At the beginning, I never know, or guess, how the final work will look like".
It is obvious that the multiple materials, as well as their way of kneading, along with the vast range of subjects, produce a fruitful dialogue between the material/realistic and the abstract/implied. This dialogue is the hard core of paintings that present nature with its diverse images, urban landscapes, figures planted in their rational or visionary reality, moods of mind designed in different shapes and colors, human feelings, hopes and dreams transferred from the spiritual realm to touchable forms. A special attention is given by Daniella to the Shoa, the Holocaust Memorial, and the way it is treated in the State of Israel.
Due to the manifoldness of each of Daniella's works, it is quite difficult to sort her paintings into thematic groups. The color, for example, is a prominent element in most paintings, but it is always connected with the other elements that build the work of art as a whole. It finds its way among implicit geometrical or obscure human forms, as a mantle that keeps them in harmony. Mattisse claimed that he could never copy nature. He had to decipher it, and adapt its forms to the spirit of his painting. "When I find the reciprocation of all the tones," he says, " I achieve a living harmony that is no different from a musical composition". It is not surprising that the use of the term "tone" suits the visual work of art (hue, style, version) and the world of music (sound, melody, key, ring, note). Daniella's works are a living proof.
Landscape of greens, landscape of blues, black and white landscape, woods, deserts, Biblical Desert, Nocturnal Wood, Shedding of Leaves, A Field of Wheat, valleys, sands, strong colored naked branches enwrap random objects, and a personal remark –
Me, Going in the Desert. Sometimes Daniella's figures are very clear and catches, immediately, the eye of the viewer. Thus are Compassion, Woman, Woman in Red. Sometimes their contours are only implied and it is the task of the viewer to track them very carefully, by scanning the entire painting, finding their hidden spots among the winding landscapes and web of colors. Daniella's figures are never static. Always in move, often frightened or trying to break through frame within frame within frame. This is only one of many visual expressions of longing for freedom: The Tree that tries to break through the fence in which he is poisoned, The Bird escaping, flying its wings and joining a wandering group in the sky, and the orange stains of color, posed like life-prisoners Birds that await their release. Flying, A Bird Family and A Flying Sheep – all stand for the same idea of freedom.
Daniella's paintings are full of "objects". They meet our eyes, as James Elkins claims when writing about ways of seeing and the nature of visual art in his book The Object Stares Back. Daniella's objects range from The City of Dove to Jerusalem of Gold, Red Tree, Elephants in India, Flags, and A Bird Nest. When the painting is untitled, the objects are only hinted at, therefore mysterious and elusive. Here a contour that reminds us of a woman's breast, there, maybe, a couple of lovers. Are there a couple of geese, or leaves in a colorful composition of red, black and white? Is this a fish? A human eye, or a woman's head floating on a whirlpool colored by thick brushes of blacks, blues, whites and orange? Hard to decide. Do we have to?
There is only one group of paintings, where Daniella does not aim at her viewer's imagination. She conducts a long-term bloody battle with the horrors of the Holocaust. Her paining, Wedding in Black, gains no less than seven different versions, in different techniques. In all of them, the yellow patch is clearly visible on the young parents' chests. It seems there are not sufficient artistic ways (etching, paper, rainy background) to express the artist's emotional turbulence. But, she is also the one that titles From Holocaust to Revival other paintings that present the heroism of survival. The Survivals and Number on the Arm are two angles to the same state of being.
Dr. Sara lutan-Hassner