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Fleurs: A Retrospective

Benrimon Contemporary
514 West 24th Street, 2nd Floor, 212-924-2400
May 6 - June 5, 2010
Reception: Thursday, May 6, 5 - 9 PM
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Featuring over fifty paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs and multiples by artists such as Henri Fantin-Latour, Pierre-Auguste Renior, Tamara de Lempicka, Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol, Marc Quinn and others. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalog.

Benrimon Contemporary is pleased to announce a group exhibition that demonstrates how artists have depicted flowers from 1880 to present. With every decade represented by several works, this carefully curated, yet vast exhibition creates a dialogue between works and artists that have never been seen together before. The exhibition seeks to explore the timelessness of the subject matter, regardless of style, and the various representations of flowers throughout different artistic movements.

The works included in this exhibition prove that flowers, as a subject matter, have intrigued artists for centuries and their continued representation throughout art history legitimizes their importance as a main theme. Historically in art, flowers were included in works for their symbolism or for their decorative nature. Today many artists select the floral motif to pay homage to past masters, to explore notions of sexuality, femininity, impermanence, contemporary environmental issues, or to converse within the artistic cannon.

Each of the artists in this exhibition chose the flower as a subject matter for different reasons and represented it in various manners, but they all made the conscious decision to incorporate flowers as a foundation for their works. Though his brush-strokes are much looser, Henri Fatin-Latour’s floral paintings of the 1880s are reminiscent of the still-life paintings created by the sixteenth and seventeenth century Dutch masters. As Modern Art progressed away from Post-Impressionism, Tamara de Lempika, known as an Art Deco artist, painted a completely different type of floral still-life by simplifying the image, distorting proportions and using clean, precise lines. Today, artists such as Marc Quinn use flowers to comment on contemporary issues like the human obsession with perfection. Within the gallery more parallels and comparisons can be made between the numerous floral works in the exhibition and visual connections can be drawn between the artists from all periods and geographies.
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