A public garden & cultural center

Elisabeth Condon

Flora Fantastica!
Glyndor Gallery | July 16−August 27, 2017

Elisabeth Condon, Secret Understory, 2017, acrylic and Chinese ink on linen
47” x 30”. All works courtesy of the artist and Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY


While in the Winter Workspace, this room’s views and architectural details really impacted the way I worked: in black and white only, repeating the same views of the sun porch and its ficus population throughout the six weeks. I’d originally proposed an ambitious explosion of greenhouse studies on tapestry scale, but the room was not scaled for that and I wanted to work more modestly once there. Color was verboten—I tried it, but it repelled me in the setting. What worked best were brush pen drawings in the greenhouse as inspiration before drawing the ficus on the Sun Porch to record the flow of light and time. I felt I could get ambitious with ink and really dive in.

- Elisabeth Condon

Elisabeth Condon’s association with flowers has unfurled over time. She grew up surrounded by floral wallpapers and hand-painted decorative objects with botanical imagery. In 2012, she began to incorporate samples of her mother’s wallpaper into a series of paintings about nightclubs. The pattern and structure of the wallpaper counterbalanced the freedom of dripping and pouring paint. During a residency in Shanghai, Condon painted a big magnolia and looked closely at the harmony in Chinese imagery. Returning to New York, she drew flowers from bouquets sent to her during an illness; she began to merge floral images with wallpaper and fabric patterns.

Condon participated in Wave Hill’s Winter Workspace Program in February and March 2017 and developed the concept for Growth Cycle: The Pavilion of Spring and Summer, an installation specifically made for this exhibition. Her studio was located in the same gallery where her installation is situated. This project is Condon’s first for a specific architectural setting and her first foray into making wallpaper. Her ink sketches, done from life, are the basis for the wallpaper and the paintings that accompany the installation. In total, the installation creates a simultaneous experience between the summer viewed outside and winter represented indoors.

A Los Angeles native now based in New York, Condon has strong ties to Florida, where she was associate professor of painting and drawing at the University of South Florida, Tampa, from 2003 to 2014. She earned a BFA from Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Pictured above: Sun Porch Wandering, 2017, ink on rice paper, 31 ½” x 31”

Pictured above: In The Garden: Winter, 2017, acrylic and Chinese ink on linen , 54” x 36”


All works courtesy of the artist and Lesley Heller Workspace, New York, NY

Learn more about the artist here

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.