ModernHouston.net re-post o my article in July 2012
Rudolph Blume Fine Art/ArtScan Gallery has an exciting array of artists using plants, flowers, and lichen as their influence in a show titled "Botany of Desire." The group includes Lina Dib, Ned Dodington, Dixie Friend Gay, Jasmyne Graybill, Julia Mclain, Abinadi Meza, Divya Murthy, Melanie Schlossberg, and Mary Howe Hawkins. I have highlighted a few artists that stood out in my mind.
Melanie Schlossberg’s paintings remind me of computer rendered drawings. The colors and shapes are broken down into simple 'paint by number' shapes, however, the simplicity only helps to accent Schlossberg's patience in constructing these paintings. After all, like a cubist, she is depicting the passage of time on one canvas. As the plant grows, she paints each growth stage. I would imagine each painting takes months, even years to finish. In one painting, Schlossberg shows the blooming of flowers, then the decay, and falling away of the flower. Another reason for the simple shapes is Schlossberg’s reference to printmaking. The obvious reference can be found in each painting in the top right hand corner. These paintings register each color she uses and each layer could have been screen printed on in a kind of layered shape.
Mary Howe Hawkins' installation, with its repetition of images and hard edge cut-outs, reminds me of Pop art, only the colors are realistic and this creates a subtlety and lightness to the flowers. The size shift and shadows of each flower helps to create a dramatic shift of interesting overall shape to the installation.
Jasmyne Graybill continues with her series of sublime beauty of decay. Her synthetic mold or lichen creations seem to grow across old precious objects which accent the patterns and shapes of the objects. You would think that after seeing her work before in Austin, I would be over the shock, but Graybill's sculptures seem to indicate the demise of every object made by man. A kind of "Days After People" scenario starts to play in my head. I can't help but be a little disturbed, maybe Graybill's work makes me reflect on my own mortality. But when I die, if I was covered with her colorful molds and lichen, I think it would be a happy death.
Finally, Dixie Friend Gay’s paintings are energetic and colorful depictions of a microscopic world. These works feel like underwater coral reefs, because the objects seem to flow in a pool of liquid. You can see all nine artists at Rudolph Blume Fine Art/ArtScan Gallery through July 21.
ModernHouston.net for more pictures.