A public garden & cultural center

Gabriela Albergaria

Prickly, Tender and Steamy: Artists in the Hothouse 
Glyndor Gallery | April 8–May 18, 2014 

Gabriela Albergaria’s exploration of gardens through photography, drawing and sculpture has taken her to numerous gardens around the world. In Conservatories, Albergaria uses drawing to join two photographic images of the Frankfurt Palmengarten, on the left, and Wave Hill’s Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory, on the right. The artist conflates time and space between two gardens in which she has spent an extended period of time observing and experiencing. The sculpture Dropping/Falling was inspired by the leaves of Anthurium wendlingeri hanging in Wave Hill’s Tropical House. Albergaria was attracted to the shape and color of the leaves and the way that they dangle from high above. Her piece recreates one leaf in bronze, capturing it in the process of decay and alluding to the suspension of time.

There are several levels of reading a space like a conservatory. It can be academic or pragmatic, or just a place to observe beautiful, strange plants. What caught my attention is the level of fiction of a place like that. It is impossible for me to see all of those cacti and exotic plants as “nature,” because they cannot exist here without the greenhouse. And it is this starting pointwhat is exotic and whythat drew me to the Conservatory.

In the garden, I could have an introduction that felt almost like stepping into a catalogue. Of course, I knew these species from other gardens, but the space of Wave Hill’s garden and the relationship between the empty and full areas gave me a special feeling. I felt comfortable in that space. My body felt right in it. Because the Winter Workspace studio was in a garden, I felt I could think and create at the same time. There was almost no time gap. I did lots of drawing and pieces that I had in mind before I did the residency. I went deeper with ideas that came before, but the small works and texts that I wrote there [at Wave Hill] were especially important for the direction of my work. The three-dimensional works that I am doing now started at Wave Hill. My method of working is built like a maze or a puzzle. I add more and more depending on the experiences I have and connections I make.

–Gabriela Albergaria

In 2009–10, Albergaria was in residence at The University of Oxford Botanic Garden, in collaboration with The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. There, she produced an artist book, Hither and Thither, and a permanent sculpture, Dead Tree Waiting. Other residencies include Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, in Brazil; Villa Arson at the Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Nice, France; and Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, where she produced an artist book, Herbes Folles. Her work has been exhibited widely in Portugal, France, Germany and Brazil. A native of Portugal, where she studied at the Fine Arts University of Porto, she currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. 

Pictured above: Conservatories, 2014, inkjet prints, colored pencil on paper, 15 3/4” x 55 1/8.” Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Vermelho.

Pictured above: Dropping/Falling, 2014, bronze Anthurium wendlingeri leaf, glass, 2” x 4” x 45.” Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Vermelho

Winter Workspace 2012
Glyndor Gallery | January 3 – March 25, 2012

Gabriela Albergaria’s Winter Workspace studio, 2012. Courtesy of Wave Hill.

Click here for more information about 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.