Say you’re in a garden, a palette of greenery, petal colors, everything seems tamed and peaceful. Yet right next to you a vine pushes upward in loose spirals while a tree limb edges away from the shadow of a neighboring tree. A basil patch detects hungry ants and sets internal defenses off as rootlets of the fruit tree grope their way around an underground rock. Humans don’t perceive at this time scale but everything alive is busy. A dandelion rockets seed out into trajectories predetermined by the sphere it has become. If it had stayed the plate-shape of its yellow flowering then its seeds would have less reach.
Cave paintings ignored the plant world at first but a few trees bloomed before the rock-art age was done. That end appears closely tied with the onset of agriculture and settled living — being rooted in a place. Domesticated animals perhaps made hunters obsolete. Danger, blood and guts — that’s so yesterday.
What hunters didn’t note ensuing generations have made up for. An eden of botanical species depicted in a splendor of styles and materials. Art made today remains in vigorous bloom.
These artists hint at the vigor of plantlife in the modern imagination. Go enjoy an armload today.
- Michael Sherrill. A range of forms and techniques. Some very wonderful creations.
- Zadok Ben-David. His Blackfield (shown above) is a space-specific floor installation containing up to 20.000 steel etched flowers deriving from 19th Century Victorian encyclopaedias. Black on one side, colored on the other.
- David Ligare. He calls himself a Post-Modern, Neo-Classical American artist. Paints still-lifes and figures in gorgeous light.
- Carlos Forns Bada. A wild imagination where flora and fauna uneasily converge. Note at the bottom of his work above — a line of mechanisms has joined the cast of characters.
- Laura Letinsky. Among other things she’s a still life photographer with a brain. It’s fun watching as her styles evolve.
See also my Pinterest boards: