A public garden & cultural center

Manuel Acevedo

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

Acevedo’s work combines projection, drawing, flipbook animation and photography to explore how light and movement shape experience. During the Winter Workspace, he created flipbooks and an alphabet made up of photographs taken on Wave Hill’s grounds. For this exhibition, Acevedo made flipbooks that include images and poems that respond to and animate Wave Hill’s exotic plant collection, specifically the growth of plants along the gridded lattices and the glass panes of the greenhouse.

While immersed in the warm climate of the Tropical House with its unique combination of fragrances and flora, I was transported through the power of sensory stimuli. I could recall distinct moments of discovery that felt stored and were at once retrieved from childhood. From my early years of development to the age of 13, my family traveled south for the summer to Aguada, Puerto Rico. There, the lush landscape, fruit trees (mangos), overgrown vines, deep green hills and flora were fascinating, strange and beautiful. It allowed me to think outside of the concrete, brick and mortar landscape of Newark, NJ, and brought me closer to the inner world of the tropics.

I was interested in plants like the Strongylodon macrobotrys, Thunbergia grandiflora and Mysorensis—particularly in how their vines can find support on grid-like trestles and suspended crossbeams. I envisioned a series of drawings made into flipbooks depicting imaginary plants, light and the movement of cast shadows relative to the surfaces and existing supports. I loosely framed the grid-like structures by the act of tropism—turning and bending with movements like organisms from external stimuli such as sunlight, heat or gravity. 

—Manuel Acevedo

Acevedo’s recent group exhibitions include shows at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ; Project Row Houses, Houston, TX; and Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. In 2010, Acevedo’s critically acclaimed Keys of Light exhibition was presented at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, TX, and the Bronx River Art Center. He has had solo exhibitions at the Jersey City Museum and the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies. Acevedo has studied at the School of Visual Arts, the International Center of Photography and Pratt Institute.

Pictured above: Latticetropic Series, 2014, paper, cardstock and ink, 3” x 5” x 1.” Courtesy of the artist

Winter Workspace 2013
Glyndor Gallery | January 2 – March 24, 2013

Manuel Acevedo in his Winter Workspace studio, 2013. 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.