The next exhibition at Nancy Hoffman Gallery entitled “Houseplants Make You Smarter” will be oil paintings, photographs and a video by Purdy Eaton. The show opens on February 2 and continues through March 18.
Purdy Eaton has written on this body of work of the last three years:
In ‘Houseplants Make You Smarter’ I continue the exploration of human interaction with the natural world, progressing from earlier works that examined American landscapes and the open road, to more immediate and quotidian observations from everyday life. The new work demonstrates a deep appreciation of the beauty reflected in seemingly unremarkable natural surroundings, yet recognizes with humor the aseptic character of modern Americana. Our daily dose of nature is often carefully curated, whether the houseplant on our windowsill that manages to survive our sporadic care, or our sculpted lawn watered to preserve its ‘dollar bill green’ hue.
The new work encourages us to stop for a moment and take in the aesthetics of our physical environs, to remove ourselves for a minute from the deluge of information and tasks that that swamp us and see the scene outside our kitchen window, and, to show appreciation for the banal beauty of a wily raccoon on our lawn (Mayonnaise, 2016) or a gaudy sunset the color of grape juice (American White, 2016). In moving from conquering the great expanses of the American road to the harried immediacy of our domesticated lives, I want us not to lose sight of this tamed splendor (American Cheese, 2016).
The palette of my new work reflects a domesticated approach to our interaction with nature – the cleansed landscapes are now calming and named with interior paint chip colors. I seek to extract beauty and humor from the mundane.
In Picture Perfect, 2016, two succulents sit sublimely by a window, thriving in their contained and controlled environment near my desk. Details are limited to create a meditative simplicity.
Houseplants Make You Smarter’ is one of a myriad of daily headlines that bombard us in our digital, distracted world. Appearing on a social media post, the results of this latest ‘scientific’ study were inconclusive, yet the benefits for our well-being resonated – turn away from the screen and truly see the life in front of you; find the joy and humor in the frenzy of being.
It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about? – Henry David Thoreau
The artist’s work has been shown at Arlington Center for the Arts, Massachusetts; Stamford Art Association, Connecticut; Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, Indiana; Institute for Sustainable Cities, City University of New York, Governors Island; Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York, as well as many invitational exhibitions in New York. She received an Artist’s Grant, Vermont Studio Center in Johnson and Green People’s Choice Award, City University of New York; her work is included in the collection of 21C Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.
She received an M.F.A. from Hunter College, City University of New York; an M.P.H. from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut and a B.S. from Indiana University, Bloomington. Her studies include an Overseas Study Program, University of Kent Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom.
Purdy Eaton was born in Lafayette, Indiana. She lives and works in New York City.