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Living Arrangements: A Group Exhibition
February 16 @ 10:00 am - March 25 @ 6:00 pm
Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to announce “Living Arrangements”, a group exhibition of 20 artists who work in a wide variety of media and styles. They are united by one theme – the simple, universal image of the flower. This exhibition serves as a foretaste of the optimism of Spring but also, and primarily, is a fascinating study in how one simple motif can become the impetus for such a wide variety of art.
Throughout art history, the flower has symbolized so much – the inevitability of change, of death as well as life, decay as well as beauty. Flowers have represented innocence or vanity, home life and hospitality, or the consoling presence of nature in grief. And too, the artists in this exhibition continue to use the floral motif in wildly different ways.
For some artists, the flower image is just the excuse for a painting, and or deep looking. For others it’s an anthropomorphized personality with agency of its own. It can be a result of decorative patterning or a representation of domesticity. Several artists see it as the expression of a fertile natural world, for others it’s the expression of an endangered one.
Stephanie Anderson’s (www.stephanieandersonart.com) beautiful watercolor depicts imaginary birds and lizards interacting in an impossibly lush floral environment. Surreal nature thrives in her imaginary world. Julia Blume (www.julia-blume-art.com) breaks down the false human/nature dichotomy by creating wall sculptures of floral growth and fertility from man-made materials of plastic and acrylic. Avital Burg (www.avitalburg.com) paints objects of daily life. In this painting the messy profusion of a floral bouquet is the excuse to play with an impasto, energetic painted surface.
Tiffany Calvert (ww.tiffanycalvert.com) uses artificial intelligence to create the classic historical floral painting and then combines this printed image with hand painted oil flowers to emphasize the tension between the hand and the pixel. JoAnne Carson (www.joannecarson.com) paints imaginary gardens based on the exuberance of her real one. As she says, “These invented worlds are portals into a universe of alternative biology.” Jared Deery (www.jareddeery.com) creates stories, in which his flower characters connect and disconnect in various ways, all within an atmosphere of decorative beauty. Loren Eiferman (www.loreneifermanart.com) obsessively creates sculptures by connecting hundreds of pieces of found wood. The image for this wall sculpture comes from the painting of a flower in the mysterious 15th century Voynich Manuscript.
Lizzie Gill (www.lizziegill.com) uses the abstracted floral image to create scenes of domesticity. Her muted palette combined with the use of image transfer place her environments in a nostalgic past. For Eric Hibit (www.erichibit.com) the flower becomes the starting point for dense mark-making in multiple layers to emphasize the sensuality of the painted surface. The image, always based on nature, is a riot of color, pattern, and pleasure. Anna Lise Jensen’s (www.spaceallover.org) collage practice uses papers of different textures and patterns to create a monster of growth – a mysterious hybrid fungus-like plant, primly upright in a decorative vase.
Calder Kamin’s (www.calderkamin.com) practice of making amazing hybrid flower/animals from plastic junk, supports her mission of expanding projects involving creative reuse throughout her community. Tess Michalik (www.tessmichalik.com) bases her very sensual, lyrical paintings on the patterns of 17th and 18th century textile design in the service of a sensual ornamentation. Anne Muntges, (www.annemuntges.com) has an obsessive drawing practice that encompasses everything in her life, including domestic flower arrangements. Her still life sculpture combines solidity with linearity in a weird reality.
Daniel Murphy (www.danielmurphy.studio) captures the essence of flower with the most minimal means – a seemingly simple sculpture of pigmented paper and brass in an elegant flourish. For Tucker Nichols (www.tuckernichols.com,) as well as being the springboard for an inventive use of color and pattern, the flower heals. Throughout the pandemic he donated hundreds of small flower paintings to anyone who was sick.
For Denise Regan, (www.markelfinearts.com/artists/75-denise-regan/works/) decorative floral patterning provides a backdrop to aggressive flower arrangements that seem to leap out of her painting in a childlike frenzy.
Aurora Robson’s (www.aurorarobson.com) large scale site specific abstract sculptures made out of plastic debris, serve to highlight the importance of intercepting the plastic waste stream. Petal-like shapes suggest natural growth and vitality through the use of a material that will never be recycled back to nature.
Mary Jo Vath (www.maryjovath.com) paints the objects around her. As a result of deep looking and deep painting, her floral arrangements acquire an almost mystical heft, and surreal presence. T Kelly Wilson also paints the flower from observation, but his loose, highly considered gestural strokes capture an essence of color and movement as opposed to a realistic depiction. And last, but not least, Lauren Whearty (www.laurenwhearty.com) paints familiar daily objects in a breezy, painterly fashion, placing them in combinations that create implied narratives and surprising connections.