Tanya Marcuse’s latest series of photographs, Woven, expands on her long fascination with cycles of growth and decay in the natural world. Her work features flora and fauna gathered from her immediate surroundings and composed into striking arrangements that suggest the abstract, large-scale paintings of Jackson Pollock with the symbolism of medieval tapestries. Woven presents an enlarged view of the world she constructed in a previous project, Fallen—a space teeming with overripe fruit, insect carcasses, bright blooms, living creatures, and other Boschian delights (and terrors). The Woven photographs are each five feet high and ten feet wide, and their intensely compacted array of plant, animal, and mineral minutiae create visually rich all-over compositions.
Each image begins with the artist collecting and arranging on a custom-built structure she designed for the purpose of creating these photographs. Her process is painstaking; in the time it takes to make each photograph, the set becomes a kind of garden or living diorama, changing color and form. The final works provide generous opportunities for up-close visual discovery, while from a distance they emit a powerful, immersive presence. At once bold and delicate, fantastical and believable, these photographs invite the viewer to ponder life and death as intricately interwoven phenomena.