Organized by The Horticultural Society of New York and sponsored by UBS
A new exhibition at The UBS Art Gallery (1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York City) will investigate the intimate bond between artists and plants through the perspective of contemporary art. On view from August 7 through October 31, 2008 and organized by The Horticultural Society of New York, Implant will present the work of 45 artists, including Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Pipilotti Rist, Peter Coffin and Tacita Dean. Ranging from botanically accurate sculptures and paintings, to abstract gestures inspired by flora, to conceptual works suggesting artist/plant collaborations, each work is furthered by the artist’s personal connection with plants.
Curated by Jodie Vicenta Jacobson of The Horticultural Society of New York, Implant will feature works in a wide variety of media, including photography, painting, works on paper, sculpture, video, film and sound, dating from 1865 to 2008. Influenced by horticultural writer Michael Pollan’s book, The Botany of Desire, Jacobson’s exhibition concept exposes the plant’s power to infiltrate the artist’s psyche, eventually immortalizing itself as a work of art.
Implant is made possible by UBS.
One highlight of the exhibition is a work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996, Cuba) that employs flowering plants to symbolize identity, sexuality and mortality. This complex set of associations is at work in Gonzalez-Torres’ photograph “Untitled” (Alice B. Toklas’ & Gertrude Stein’s Grave, Paris). Without a point of reference, the composition of flowers and plants can be interpreted simply as a beautiful picture or a conceptual gesture, as a celebration or a memorial.
A pair of photographs by Pipilotti Rist (b. 1962, Switzerland) entitled Unfrisiert mit Schneeblumen is dreamlike, depicting a silhouette of a woman’s hair and a detail of magnolia flowers, offering ephemeral connections between the forms. Tacita Dean’s (b. 1965, United Kingdom) film stills of African baobab trees address obsolescence and its relationship to nature, while representational paintings by Jane Freilicher (b. 1924, United States) and Ann Craven (United States) demonstrate the hauntingly seductive quality of flowers and the landscape. Robert Gober (b. 1954, United States) takes the theme of seduction a step further by literally costuming a tree in a dress in an untitled graphite drawing.
Conceptual works on view in the exhibition are by turns experimental, subversive and whimsical. Peter Coffin (b. 1963, United States) creates a functioning greenhouse with a variety of plant specimens that will serve as a venue for live and recorded musical performances during which plant and musician will interact. Simon Starling (b. 1967, United Kingdom) links unexpected coincidences in his work. His installation at The UBS Art Gallery of two objects—Weeding Aralia, a chaise lounge with vibrant botanical fabric by Josef Frank, and Muscled Moore, a photograph of sculptor Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure 1950—draws an interesting connection between these two “reclining” modern works. Roman Signer (b. 1938, Switzerland) humorously tweaks the scientific method by testing various collisions and explosions, then capturing these “action sculptures” in photographs and video, as seen in the video Weihnachtsbaum/Christmas Tree. Signer’s photograph Leiter/Ladder shows red balloons wedged between each rung of a wooden ladder that is leaning against an apple tree, mysteriously suggesting previous unseen events.
Artist List Implant will include works by the following artists: DARREN ALMOND LOTHAR BAUMGARTEN JUDITH BELZER DALE BERNING CAROL BOVE STAN BRAKHAGE JULIA MARGARET CAMERON IAN CAMPBELL NICK CAVE CAW + NG PETER COFFIN SHARON CORE ANN CRAVEN TACITA DEAN WILLIAM EGGLESTON
The Horticultural Society of New York Founded in 1900, The Horticultural Society of New York (HSNY) is a cultural non-profit that focuses on making New Yorkers lives better through horticulture. As an urban green resource, HSNY maintains a 12,000-volume horticultural library and contemporary art gallery open to the public in their newly redesigned headquarters at 148 West 37th Street. Garden tours, lectures, and classes introduce many to proper horticultural techniques, stewardship, and technology including green roofs and water harvesting. Community outreach initiatives include the GreenHouse program featuring a 2 ½ acre garden on Rikers Island where HSNY horticulturists teach incarcerated women, men and adolescents horticulture and landscaping, continuing on to a jail-to-street program, GreenTeam, providing training necessary for entry level employment in horticulture. Additional HSNY outreach programs include the GreenBranches Learning gardens that include twenty library gardens city-wide as well as innovative hands-on environmental education to elementary school students in underserved neighborhoods. For more information, please visit www.hsny.org.
The UBS Art Gallery UBS has a longstanding and ongoing commitment to the support of the arts and culture. UBS sponsors four exhibitions each year in The UBS Art Gallery, located in the lobby of its building at 1285 Avenue of the Americas, New York City. Through its exhibition program, the Gallery offers non-profit arts and cultural organizations a midtown Manhattan exhibition space and the opportunity to introduce their programs to a new audience. The UBS Art Gallery enables many institutions to organize and mount exhibitions that might not otherwise be seen. These exhibitions encourage interest in the arts among the hundreds of employees, clients and members of the general public who pass through the UBS building each day.
UBS also has its own art collection. Recognized internationally as one of the most important corporate collections of contemporary art, The UBS Art Collection comprises more than 1000 paintings, photographs, drawings and sculptures and video by many of the world’s leading artists from 1950 to the present. UBS is proud of this heritage of collecting and embraces the Collection as a treasure to be shared with our employees, clients, shareholders and other individuals passionate about art through international loans and tours of selected works. To further share our Collection with the public, UBS provides permanent online access to works in the Collection, information on the artists and online exhibitions via an interactive web museum at www.ubs.com/artcollection.
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Upcoming Exhibitions at The UBS Art Gallery HEYDAY: The American Circus 1890-1925 Organized by the Eakins Press Foundation November 13, 2008 – January 23, 2009
Milton Avery, Paintings from the Collection of the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York February 5, 2009 – May 1, 2009
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University Organized by the National Association of Women Artists May 14 – July 31, 2009
Hours and Admission The UBS Art Gallery is located in the UBS Building at 1285 Avenue of the Americas (between 51st and 52nd Streets) in New York City. The Gallery is on the ground floor of the building and exhibition hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission is free.