A public garden & cultural center

Keren Anavy

Sunroom Project Space 2018 | October 27–December 2, 2018

Pictured above: Garden of Living Images, 2018. Ink and colored pencils on transparent Mylar, polyethylene ponds, water with ink, vinyl. Courtesy of the artist.

Creating a conservatory from paintings and industrial materials, Keren Anavy responds to the late-fall season at Wave Hill in her site-specific installation Garden of Living Images. Suspended from the ceiling, groupings of abstract paintings on translucent Mylar dip into shallow pools of ink and correspond to the changing colors and forms of Wave Hill’s plants—especially at the Aquatic Garden. The light shining in through the multi-color, cellophane-covered windows further transforms the space into an insular, imagined environment. With mark-making that incorporates deliberation and the element of chance, Anavy considers the relationship between decision-making and the natural and unexpected processes that occurs in a garden—a cultivated landscape.

Sources of inspiration for Anavy’s paintings, such as the one pictured on this card, include the burgundy color of the pom-pom-like seed heads of the orange peel clematis (Clematis tibetana), a climbing vine in Wave Hill’s Flower Garden, and the way the clusters of seeds eventually break apart and drift away.  Anavy’s process begins by placing Mylar on the floor and creating gestural marks with water on the surface. She then injects colored ink into the water—allowing mixtures to form organically—and adds colored pencil to the composition. The ink in the pools is slowly absorbed by the Mylar paintings throughout the exhibition. Anavy also employs light as a medium. It continuously changes as it shines through the colored windows. She describes these paintings as “organized structures as well as wild nature that is stripped down to its most abstract form.”

Anavy’s artificial garden references hanging Chinese scrolls and the longing for an imagined territory, such as the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Interested in how gardens reflect the connections between nature and culture in Eastern and Western societies, Anavy explores the meanings and purposes of gardens as sites of reflection  and retreat—“pockets of nature” within urban landscapes. In conjunction with her installation, Anavy collaborates with Valerie Green/Dance Entropy on Utopia, a site- specific performance about the creation and destruction that occurs in a utopian society. It features dancers and pillars painted by Anavy.

Garden of Living Images
is Anavy’s first, formal, solo exhibition in the United States. She has had solo exhibitions at The Janco Dada Museum in Ein Hod and Haifa Museum of Art, both in Israel. A version of Utopia, in collaboration with Valerie Green/Dance Entropy, was performed at the Queens Museum earlier this year. Recent shows include SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2018, New York; Cultural Institute Mexico-Israel, Mexico City; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; NARS Foundation, Brooklyn; and The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Anavy was also a 2018 AIRIE Fellow in the Everglades National Park, Florida. In Israel, Anavy graduated with an MFA from Haifa University, a BA in Art History from Tel Aviv University and a teaching certificate from Hamidrasha School of Art at Beit Berl Academic College.

SAT, OCT 27, 2PM
Meet the Artist: Conversation between Keren Anavy and Curator of Visual Arts Eileen Jeng Lynch

SAT, NOV 17, 2PM
Utopia, dance performance, in collaboration with Valerie Green/Dance Entropy, in Glyndor Gallery

Click here to learn more about the artist. A release about the 2018 season in the Sunroom Project Space is available here.

Support for the Visual Arts Program is provided by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, 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 Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.