I say: a flower! and outside the oblivion to which my voice relegates any shape, insofar as it is something other than the calyx, there arises musically, as the very idea and delicate, the one absent from every bouquet. – Stephane Mallarme translated by Mary Ann Caws
Fake Estate is pleased to announce What Comes Naturally, a group show of contemporary flowers curated by Glynnis McDaris featuring work by Patterson Beckwith, Anthony Fuller, Ori Gersht, Liz Goldwyn, Joseph Heidecker, Patricia Iglesias, Joyce Kim, Joshua Smith, Sarah E. Wood, Joe Nitzberg and Marc Swanson.
Flowers have been used in art to depict sentimentality, peace, sexuality, perfection, purity, celebration, commemoration, innocence, perfume, harmony, joy, fertility and femininity. With What Comes Naturally, the works both address and add to this history by deconstructing the iconography through various modes of irony and abstraction. The exhibition challenges typical interpretations of flowers by underscoring the dark, subversive and satirical. The works contribute to the ongoing effort on the part of artists to crystallize the essence of “floweriness” rather than redefining their symbolism.
Ten pieces occupy the 80 square foot space, yielding a dense bouquet of imagery. Joyce Kim, Patricia Iglesias and Ori Gersht’s explosive compositions break down the notions of the still life bouquet, both literally and figuratively. These works explode into abstract traces of petals, stems and debris. Joshua Smith and Anthony Fuller use mass-produced products, a cocktail napkin and a greeting card respectively, as a means to explore the flower’s artificial (or disposable) sentimentality, whereas Liz Goldwyn’s gold encrusted sculpture is sensual, ripe and luxurious. Multi media artist, Marc Swanson, and photographer, Joe Nitzberg, collaborate and document memorial floral arrangements made in honor of gay icons, in this case Halston and Darby Crash, summoning and translating their legacy into floral compositions. Patterson Beckwith, Sarah E. Wood and Joseph Heidecker use flowers to convey a passage of time. Sarah Wood’s shadow-like black sculpture traces a memory of life and growth. Joseph Heidecker’s manipulated/erased found photos speak to an organic ethereality. Patterson Beckwith’s diptych depicts the life and death of an electric blue deli bouquet.
As an extension to the What Comes Naturally exhibition Fake Estate will collaborate with Evas Arche und der Feminist to host a night of performance on June 29th featuring Blanko and Noiry and others. More information will be available in the coming weeks.
Fake Estate was launched in 2007 by Julia Trotta. The unusually small space, a former utility closet in the West Chelsea Arts Building, will house a series of focused, experimental projects. While some will call for intimate inspection, others will restrict viewers from entering the space. Fake Estate serves as an alternative to the traditional art venue, challenging both the artist and the viewer to think within the very small box.