In Jonas Wood’s (b, 1977) paintings, he often uses intricate decorative patterning to render ordinary objects that hold personal resonance for him. Some of the pots depicted in Night Bloom Still Life (2015) were make by Wood’s wife, Shio Kusaka. Thus, the painting is just as much a self, or family, portrait as it is a still life. “You could call it a visual diary or even a personal history,” the artist has said. This everyday quality, accentuated by flat planes of color and uniform detail, makes the spatial ambiguities in Wood’s work — such as the impossible perspective of the table — all the more disorienting.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.
The New York Botanical Garden’s annual Holiday Train Show just closed for the season this past weekend, so if you missed it, there’s always next year! I had the chance to check it out with a friend on the Saturday when we had that amazing snow storm here in the city, and it was a pretty sweet time. The Train Show — which is about so much more than just model trains — takes place inside the enchanting setting of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, where you can travel back in time, it seems; wandering through miniature landscapes featuring more than 150 scaled iconic buildings, private mansions (many of which do not exist today) and other structures which stretch out amid the plants, under thousands of twinkling lights through various rooms of the conservatory. Also, there are model trains, but they are not necessarily the show stoppers!
Inside the glass domed conservatory is an authentic city in miniature, where famed New York architecture is recreated using bark, leaves, and other natural materials. The recent exhibition had expanded since the previous year, with more trains, an all-new Queensboro Bridge, and a true New York finale featuring a whimsical tribute to the iconic Coney Island amusement park’s architecture and attractions, which was one of my favorite assign with cluster of some of NYC’s most iconic, landmark towers.
Here’s another view of the section which featured the NY Stock Exchange, the Flatiron and Chrysler Buildings, the Empire State Building and, up front, Rockefeller Center.
There was even a miniature replica of the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, flanked by the gold statue of Prometheus, who represents the ancient Greek legend of the Titan, bringing fire to mankind. And I even managed to get a train in this picture — not always easy to do, as they can zoom by quite quickly!
Find out more about the NYBG Holiday Train Show, and start planning your visit for late 2017, at This Link!
While Meg Webster’s Solar Grow Room — which is just one section of her current, eponymous exhibit at the Paula Cooper Gallery — could easily stand in for a Pink Thing of the Day, I’m going to let it flourish on its own, because it is just so darn rad.
In this installation, Webster turns the Greenhouse Pink! First created for 2015’s Natura Naturans, a joint show with Roxy Paine held at Villa Panza in Milan, Solar Grow Room is an ecosystem sustained by making solar pannel on the gallery exterior. Bathed in pink light, raised planters are cultivated with moss, grass, flowers and other vegetation.
Meg Webster’s work finds inspiration in the intrinsic beauty of natural materials. Using metal, glass and organic elements like salt, soil, twigs and moss, the artist creates large-scale installations and precise structures rooted in the traditions of Land Art of the 1970s. Also highly influenced by Minimalist artists like Donald Judd, Carl Andre and Robert Morris, Webster draws on their rigorous formal vocabulary to create simple, geometric forms that directly and perceptually engage the body and its senses.
The walls of the gallery room look like Fun House Mirrors.
A lifelong environmentalist, Meg Webster draws awareness to nature as an ever-evolving force, as well as mankind’s careless destruction of the earth’s resources and energies. We very much enjoyed this exhibit!
Meg Webster’s Solar Grow Roomwill be on Exhibit Through June 24th Exhibit Has Been Extended Through July 12th, 2016 at Paula Cooper Gallery, Located at 534 West 21st Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
It was a complete accident that Geoffrey and I ended up making a pit stop at the gorgeous Brooklyn Botanic Garden as part of a recent trip to visit the Brooklyn Museum. It wasn’t until we were on the train that I noticed (for the first time, ever) that the Eastern Parkway Stop off the 2 and 3 is also the stop for the BBG, so I suggested to Geoffrey that we “See how far away it is from the museum” once we got out of the subway. What we discovered, much to our ecstatic delight, is that the Garden is literally right next to the Museum. It could not possibly have been more conveniently located. Even better, Geoffrey’s work ID card got us in for free, and since we had no strict agenda to follow, we spent over an hour exploring nature as a prelude to some hardcore, art-viewing action. It was an amazing day!
Make sure you pick up a map of the grounds at the entrance because, while it is fun to just wander freely, the place is massive, and you might find that there are certain areas you want to make sure you see before you need to head out.
Sunscreen is recommended on a bright sunny day, but even if you are looking to get a tan, there are plenty of shady areas to walk, such as this trellis-covered path that took us to our first stop, the Native Flora Garden.
The Native Flora Garden feels like being on a forest path, where you can see hundreds of plants that are native the New York Metropolitan area. It is flat terrain, but it is still a nice hike.
Y0u can also spot birds and other small wildlife.
Limestone Ledge. All of Manhattan used to look like this.
There are lots of wild flowers as well. Most have identifying signs near them so you know what you are looking at. Educational!
The people who created this fountain are truly outdoor fountain pros. I wanted to jump into this fountain to cool off, but it is not allowed.
Next, we headed over to the Cranford Rose Garden.
There must be thousands of Rose bushes, plus other flowers and flowering plants in this garden.
Looking at all of these beautiful rose bushes made me feel extremely nostalgic for my late Grandmother, who had an incredible green thumb and was always so proud of her rose garden.
You could take a million pictures. I nearly did!
Remember that flowers mean that there will be bees buzzing about, doing their thing. If you are allergic, please use caution, but never swat at a bee! Bees make our food. Please let them live.
Looking for a shady place to sit and rest, our next stop was the Cherry Esplanade.
The Cherry Esplanade is rows and rows of Cherry trees that are no longer flowering by Summer, but which provide a gorgeous green shade just the same.
At the end of the Esplanade is the Rose Arc Pool. More Flowers! More Bees! More Sun! Nature is Awesome!
If you walk up to that building and take a left, you’ll end up at the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden.
The pond is a bit green, to say the least, but you can see fish and turtles swimming in it. The Red Archway in the water is called a Torii. It is commonly found at the entrance to a Shinto temple or shrine.
Japanese Maple Tree.
We stopped by the gift shop for quick a browse before making our way back over to the Museum, where we had an excellent time before returning to the city for dinner. I can’t wait to go back to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to see everything we missed on our first trip!
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is Located at 150 Eastern Parkway, with entrances also at 455 Flatbush Avenue, and also at 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225. Take the 2 or 3 to Eastern Parkway if that train is near you! Otherwise, get other directions, plus more information to help plan your visit at This Link!
Armory Show weekend passed without us paying it a single visit, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t see some art! Thrush Holmes’ More opened on March 6th as part of the concurrently running, VOLTA Contemporary Art Fair which was happening at various venues all over the city.
Holmes More features many large oil and spray on canvas works of flowers and plants that also incorporate minimal neon tubing accents. The artist’s distinctive “TH” signature can bee seen prominently displayed on all canvases.
These paintings are very colorful and reminded me of a more focused version of Basquiat. You can even recognize Basquiat’s iconic Crown symbol in a few of the paintings.
This show was my first exposure to Holmes‘ work, but based on this exhibit I am interested to see what he does next.
Thrush Holmes, More will be on Exhibit Through April 5th, 2014 at Mike Weiss Gallery, Located at 520 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
Rachel at Face of the Earth creates beautiful miniature ecosystems. Some house delicate air plants, Reindeer moss and Foliose lichen of a wonderful blue hue. While others feature tiny, exploded meth labs, and tiny, handmade 1/4-inch reproductions of high school chemistry teachers turned methamphetamine-makers.
This terrarium is an 11″ tall ecosystem showing a Hand Sculpted and hand painted miniature interpretation of the well known opening sequence of this fantastic TV show’s first season. Lining the bottom of this open terrarium are pieces of blue sea glass, closely resembling the blue crystals Heisenberg cooks. Alongside the crashed meth lab is the tiniest depiction of Mr. White you may ever see, handmade at about 1/4″ tall, glasses tighty whities and all. The RV is a whopping 1/2″ long, hand sculpted and painted. The desert scene is a slight DIY project, with lichen, a petrified mushroom, stones, a tiny tree and reindeer moss to create a great little sustainable ecosystem that you can keep anywhere in your home or office. With easy care instructions, anyone care care for these tiny worlds, from the most experienced botanist to those with a brown thumb.
And because its composed of low-maintenance greenery, this terrarium requires very little water and care in order to thrive. So, whether you’re entering day three of a crystal bender, or are just too consumed with a Breaking Bad marathon on Netflix, the plants will be just fine.