July 16 - August 27, 2017
This summer, Flora Fantastica! boldly extends the garden experience into Glyndor Gallery. The artists—Nancy Blum, Amy Cheng, Elisabeth Condon and Jill Parisi—explore an interest in pattern, as well as cultural and botanical sources, to create luscious blooms that are contained within the distinct architecture of these rooms. In ways that are similar to the diverse approaches utilized to bring to life each garden at Wave Hill, the artists have developed individualized techniques to create work that inspires a sense of awe and wonder.
Encircling the Glyndor Gallery entrance vestibule, Jill Parisi’s installation catches the eye. Inspired by the fanciful shapes and patterning of Wave Hill’s extensive range of species, Parisi’s myriad of fantastical hybrid plant forms seem to flutter off the walls. In the north gallery, Nancy Blum’s large-scale drawings counteract the dismissive notion of flowers as feminine or decorative. Drawing on a variety of sources, including plant physiology, her work inspires close viewing. In the center gallery, Amy Cheng’s paintings encourage contemplation: using the form of the mandala brings together geometry and floral ornamentation derived from mystic cosmologies and traditional fabrics and tiles. Elisabeth Condon activates the east and west walls of the south gallery by creating distinct wallpaper that accentuates the contrast between the gallery interior and the summer views outside the window. She includes paintings and drawings that were inspired by her observations as a resident during Wave Hill’s 2017 Winter Workspace program.
Flora Fantastica! was curated to engage in a dialogue with Wave Hill’s gardens. While the rooms create a context for these glorious paintings, each garden has a structure that frames the bounteous blooms. During your visit, appreciate the subtle change in color introduced from one bed to the next in the Flower Garden. Pass through the foundations of the former greenhouses. Today, they provide a structure for the culinary and medicinal plants in the Herb Garden, and the ornamental plants from drier climates in the Dry Garden. Admire the intricacy of the miniature blooms in the Alpine Garden. In the Wild Garden, explore the distant, various origins of its plants, arranged to appear as if they are growing freely together. Rest under the shady pergolas in the Aquatic Garden and marvel at the array of water plants contained in one small pond. In each part of the garden, Wave Hill’s gardeners are thoughtful and deliberate about combinations of color, texture and type of plants in each garden, an orchestration that is echoed in the choices the artists have made in the works on view in the gallery this summer.
As part of Wave Hill’s partnership in the Fairfield Westchester Museum Alliance (FWMA), three institutions are offering flower-related exhibitions this summer. The Hudson River Museum presents Robert Zakanitch: Garden of Ornament,and the Bruce Museum presents Spring Forward with Andy Warhol and Friends. Wave Hill members enjoy free admission at all FWMA organizations.
Read a release about the exhibition here.
Pictured above: Amy Cheng, Into The Breach, 2014, Oil on canvas, 36” x 60”. Courtesy of the artist.
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.