A public garden & cultural center

Isabella Kirkland

isabellakirkland.com

Tending toward the Untamed: Artists Respond to the Wild Garden
Glyndor Gallery | April 3—August 19, 2012

In her oil painting, Isabella Kirkland views the Palisades from a high point in the Wild Garden, and her composition follows the conventions of traditional landscape painting. This is particularly fitting since Marco Polo Stufano and John Nally, the creators of Wave Hill’s Wild Garden, looked to art as inspiration for their gardens. Kirkland transposes the garden they created: abundant late spring plantings are celebrated in the painting’s foreground, framed by trees and shrubs in the middle ground and anchored by the Palisades in the background. She populates the painting with species that are endangered or threatened in New York State, including Henslow’s Sparrow, Scarlet Bluet Damselfly and Massassauga Rattlesnake. Although these species may not be found in the Wild Garden, they optimistically represent a healthy ecosystem. In the watercolors displayed in the adjacent cabinet, she captures small scenes or close-up views of the individual species in situ, based on photographs that she took in May 2011.

Kirkland typically paints in the meticulous style of Dutch still-life painting, as a way of preserving a point in time and recording shifting ecosystems.Her paintings are informed by thorough research and observation of nature. She is a research associate in the Department of Aquatic Biology at the California Academy of Sciences, where she has prepared skins and, last year, participated in an expedition to Papua, New Guinea. She is exhibiting her NOVA series that focuses on flora and fauna discovered or identified in the past twenty years at the World Science Festival in New York in June 2012. She has had solo exhibitions at Feature, Inc., New York, NY; the Toldeo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH; and the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC. She is the recipient of a Wynn Newhouse Award, as well as grants from the George Sugarman Foundation and the Marin Arts Council. Kirkland studied at the San Francisco Art Institute among other places.

Palisades, 2012

Palisades, 2012
Oil on canvas
48” x 36”
Courtesy of the artist and Feature, Inc., New York, NY

20-Foxgloves, 2012

20-Foxgloves, 2012
Watercolor on Arches Hot Press paper
7” x 5”
Courtesy of the artist and Feature, Inc., New York, NY

Installation View

Installation View
Photo: Ken Goebel

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts. 
 

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