Gestures in Geometry - Mostly Drawings by Mary Dajnak

Gestures and Window #1, Pastel, 28 x 52””

Artist Statement

Gestures in Geometry is a series of drawings centered on my intuitive explorations of geometry. They are composed of visual and perceptual representations focusing on the intersection and interaction between image and structure. Represented in the layers of the images are lines, shapes, and spaces that are reflections and symbolic references that often signify architectural environments and include fragments of memories, dreams, and other recovered unconscious material. I am also interested in the characterized ambiguity, which allows each work to be a spontaneous exploration of unplanned journeys that may lead to new perspectives.

I see these images as abstract and makeshift narrative records directly inspired by cityscapes as I am greatly influenced by the reflections, repetitions, and textures of urban life.  I grew up and lived in inner city, working-class, industrial neighborhoods of Philadelphia and more recently I worked in a downtown studio in Toledo, Ohio which has provided me with views of the numerous layers of urban architecture in many forms of construction and deconstruction, and has inspired my image making.

Furthermore, the pace in some of the works is set by the placement of recycled and recovered fragments of lithographs, etchings, woodcuts, and screen prints.  Many of these fragments are from an earlier series of prints and drawings which depicted figures interacting within environments delineated by geometric shapes. Those shapes continue to appear and to describe space and movement as they haunt my current images.

My work continues to move in and out of varying degrees of representation, abstraction, and narrative, while the images emerge as a result of continuous responses to what I have done intentionally and what occurs accidentally during the drawing process. In recent explorations of image-making within a square (or nearly square) format has led to the emergence of the large swirling forms that both dominate and contrast with the architectural images. Thus, creating a new layer of narrative and meaning to unravel.


Mary Dajnak is a multimedia artist combining drawing and printmaking techniques in abstract works consisting of layers of architecturally suggestive images. She is a recipient of many grants, including a Fulbright Grant to the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Poland, and an individual artist grant from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, and is a graduate of Temple University’s Tyler School of Art with a BFA in Printmaking, and the University of Pennsylvania with an MFA in Printmaking and Painting. Recently, while working and teaching in Ohio, Mary was the owner of Studio M Printmakers in Toledo, a community based studio and gallery. Mary is currently an Instructor and the Coordinator of the Studio Arts programs at PCCC.