A public garden & cultural center

Alexa Hoyer

Recapturing the Scenic Wilds
Glyndor Gallery | September 06 - December 07, 2014

Pictured above: a Natural History—Dirt, Branches and Rocks, 2014, Archival pigmented print, 10 5/8” x 16.” Courtesy of the artist


Alexa Hoyer’s recent series, a Natural History, documents the minutiae of museum displays. At first glance, these images seem like candid shots of patches of outdoor grass or forest undergrowth, but a longer look reveals something uncanny: grass too fresh, overly blue skies, or dust on the leaves. The photographs, taken in the American Museum of Natural History, zoom in on the details at the seam of the diorama, where sculptural recreations transition into the rendered background. The 30 photographs are arranged in a tight grid; this, along with the shallow depth of field, makes for a lush and disorienting presentation.

By focusing on painted backdrops and plastic foliage, Hoyer raises questions about the boundaries between the natural and artificial, without ever needing to illustrate the spectacular centerpieces of these displays. This strict attention to the marginal characterizes much of Hoyer’s work, which focuses on moments that waver between escapist fantasies and meaningful connections.

Hoyer has exhibited nationally and abroad, including in the Inside-Out Arts Museum in Beijing, where she recently completed an artist residency. She also has a permanent installation in the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Her photographs have been published in international publications, such as New York Magazine, Interview, Der Spiegel, Taz and Der Freitag. Hoyer received an MFA from Tyler School of Art and a BA from Webster University.

Click here for more information about the artist.

Pictured above: a Natural History—Clouds II, 2014, Archival pigmented print, 10 5/8” x 16.” Courtesy of the artist

Pictured above: a Natural History—Foliage I, 2013, Archival pigmented print, 10 5/8” x 16.” Courtesy of the artist

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.