A public garden & cultural center

Joanne Howard

Call & Response | September 10–December 3, 2017

Pictured above: Copper Beech Bark, 2017, digitally printed wallpaper. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Wave Hill. Photo: Stefan Hagen.

Joanne Howard’s installation lines the walls of Glyndor’s restroom, pairing Wave Hill’s history and ecology with contemporary graffiti culture. Photographing the graffiti carved into the rare copper beech tree nearby, Howard created a digitally printed wallpaper from an amalgamation of these markings. The pink hue and the use of wallpaper recall a powder room, the Victorian-era space, often pastel-colored, where a woman could remove the shine from her nose. The original Glyndor House was built in the Victorian era and may have had such a room, while the markings covering the restroom wall allude to the populist practice of writing on bathroom walls. Howard’s installation unites these trends across time, creating a work which is specific to Wave Hill’s grounds and horticulture.

Outside In
Sunroom Project Space | April 25–June 1, 2008

Outside In, 2008, stop-motion animation, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Inspired by the lush tangle of plant life that envelops Glyndor House during the warmer months, Joanne Howard has created a stop-motion animation projection that features a network of rapidly growing vines. Based partly on decorative motifs used in botanical wallpaper, the animation of the drawing begins slowly, tracing a series of intricate patterns. As the momentum builds, the drawing explodes out of its initial precision into a frenzy of dense, freeform gesture. This play between the formality of repetition and pattern and the chaotic imagery of nature reveals humanity’s consuming and ultimately futile desire to create order in the persistent entropy of the natural world.

This is Howard’s first use of video projection. Her background working with more traditional media, such as pencil and watercolor, comes through in the delicate lines of the drawing itself. Projecting the image onto the wall allows the animation to activate its surroundings, drawing attention to the work’s location in the Sunroom and amplifying its exploration of the complex relationship between interior and exterior spaces.

Artist website

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.