JoAnne Artman Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition that juxtaposes urban grit with the delicacy of flora, highlighting the often surprising congruities in the beauty of both. Much of the motifs in art and design are borrowed from the natural world in which the processes of regeneration, life and decay are in constant flux and motion. An especially important part of this framework is the flora, or the particular plants of a region, habitat or geographical area which are as diverse, unique and localized as the constitution and customs of any urban population. Artists Penelope Gottlieb, Anna Kincaide, and Greg Miller are artists whose work addresses this intersection between the beauty of nature and the ethos of urbanity.
Penelope Gottlieb’s paintings on paper, panel and canvas are a rich riot of color and texture that engage the senses while also commentating on the destructive nature of urban development. Featuring representations of various lost species, the works are also part of an ongoing project by the artist that explores themes of environmentalism and the global ecological crisis. These highly detailed renderings present a tapestry of various plants and flowers that vibrate with energy, seemingly on the verge of breaking through the compositional plane. Based on the artist’s own imaginings as well as historical accounts, the images are deceptively decorative, providing endless complexities in concept and composition on subsequent investigation.
Anna Kincaide’s fantastical works in oil on canvas juxtapose a minimalist, tonal approach to the figure with bountiful, bursting bouquets of botanical topiary rendered in a dazzling array of color. Kincaide pays equal attention to the sleek, sinuous lines of the human form, as to the layered, organic forms of the flora. These surreal dreamscapes are reminiscent of studio portraits in format and styling, paying homage to the tradition of portraiture. Borrowing inspiration from fashion and design history, Kincaide’s work explores anonymity and transformation as well as contemporary socio-cultural signposts of status and identity.
Greg Miller’s mixed media works are instantly recognizable, drawing on his specific cultural lens and Californian roots. Fragility, nostalgia, as well as the fleeting nature of cultural ephemera and collective memory are explored in works that effortlessly blend familiar imagery of the golden age of print media into new narratives. Miller’s visual collages are an amalgamation of grit and texture, the layers a visual representation of the destruction rendered by the passage of time. In Miller’s newest body of work, floral elements add a new framework of meaning in his exploration of memory and social history.
These artists will inspire, provoke, engage and mesmerize. With visual perceptions always changing, peek behind the stories told and you're sure to find the right artistic expression!