February 9 – March 26, 2017
Part Two of a Two-Part Exploration of Endangered Species
Curator: Maddy Rosenberg
The rapidity of the extinction of members of the animal kingdom is certainly, at the very least, partly a bi-product of their dwindling environments. Ecosystems have become more fragile as certain plant life has diminished or disappeared completely. A habitat is reliant on the roles of plant life to feed and shelter, at its most basic. Not to say, the lives of all around us have value on to themselves, do we really wish upon our world the result of a decimated, let alone barren, landscape? These artists explore an increasing imbalance that has threatened the existence of plant life beyond the restriction of specific pockets, and into the unfortunate explosion of a global phenomenon.
The visual delicacy of the art of Aviva Rahmani, in her ode to the trees she has marked for saving, barely masks a staunch activism. Nina Kuo builds from the family heritage of a tree once plentiful in the fields of China, molded into ancestral furniture, as Barbara Rosenthal documents the oldest plant in existence, challenged more than ever. Tanja Roolfs weaves together a delicate flower in a delicate balance for survival, conveying a sense of being too fragile to touch, while the textured layerings of Ilse Schreiber-Noll beg for us to touch and experience.
Adrienne Moumin slices, dices and re-assembles photographs in a frenetic attempt to preserve the pieces, but the German artist Gerhild Ebel simple takes inventory, and the list of the already gone is both poignant and disturbing. The painted images of the once plentiful sunflowers of Carolyn Oberst are bitter sweet, appearing almost as a corollary to the painted birds of Susan Hoenig that remain couched among the plants they need to survive. Marisa Benjamim lovingly tenders the plant a second life as an embedded drawing.
The ongoing library of Anne Percoco and Ellie Irons collects the seeds for saving plants for prosperity while Brandstifter sows the conceptual seeds for the future. Margot Glass goes one step further and catalogs the seeds in her “documentation” drawing of such envelopes of hopeful re-planting and rejuvenation.
All begins with water and arguably may end similarly, for Meryl Meisler submerges our cities by subterranean plant life wreaking revenge. The final conclusion may be taken out of our hands, if we continue to refuse to act swiftly to counter the increasingly devastating effects to our home planet.