Selected Exhibition Views
The Leaf and the Page
curated by Douglas Stapleton
llinois State Museum: Springfield, Lockport, and Chicago, IL - 2008-09
Art employs the natural world constantly as objects of enlightenment, study, veneration, and contemplation. This exhibition explores plants as conduits between humanity and the natural world, reflecting on the connection between the plant as object, a specimen for study and identification, and the plant as subject imbued with emotive and narrative qualities.
The eleven artists in this exhibition ground their work in the basic visual vocabulary of plant structures: leaves, spines, stems, flowers, trunks, branches, and roots. Some of the artists employ traditional approaches to representation. print, drawing, painting, while others mirror botanical plasticity in a range of materials from paper to clay to stainless steel. Beyond this material variation of appearances, there is an association with the canon of historical botanical representation that becomes another of the many, nuanced convergences in the work.