Contemporary Photography and the Garden — Deceits and Fantasies
YONKERS , NY . January 8, 2007 — Contemporary Photography and the Garden brings together the work of 16 contemporary American and European artists whose depictions of gardens range from gentle tranquil havens to places of tension and danger, where exquisite beauty must coexist with nature’s inexorable forces. The photographs, beautifully colorful, capture a flower’s petal or a swath of garden or beckon mystery in misty black and white. The exhibition will be on view at the Hudson River Museum , Yonkers , from February 1 through May 13, 2007 .
Many years in the making, Contemporary Photography and the Garden — Deceits and Fantasies was organized by the American Federation of Arts (AFA). This exhibition is made possible, in part, by a grant from the A.R. Brooks Trust. Additional support is provided by David L. Davies and John D. Weeden and the Founders Circle of the AFA.
An important subject for photographers in the late 19th century, gardens were popularized by such early masters as Eugène Atget. In the early 20th century, gardens fell out of favor as artists embraced the signs and symbolisms of urban life. Now, however, the garden has recaptured the interest of photographers, whose work examines the garden’s diverse forms and metaphorical associations.
Some artists, such as Linda Hackett whose Allium Giganteum (1992) is the signature impressionistic image for the show, explore the lyrical beauty and atmosphere of the garden and exult in its sculptural forms. Others, like Marc Quinn in his Italian Landscapes series play against the notion of the garden as an idyllic site for the pursuit of pleasure and provide, instead, a luxuriant and dark visual metaphor for the manipulation of nature. All the artists in Contemporary Photography and the Garden explore the garden as a site where human desires and aspirations transform the landscape.
A unique feature of Contemporary Photography and the Garden is the AFA’s commissioning of new works by Sally Mann and Catherine Opie. Mann explores Englishman Edward James’s surrealist garden in the jungle of San Luis Potosi in Mexico ; Opie investigates the affinities among disparate gardens, ranging from estates in Santa Barbara and the Hamptons to community gardens in New York City and a men’s prinson in Minnesota . Other photographers in the exhibition are: Sally Apfelbaum, Daniel Boudinet, Gregory Crewdson, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Sally Gall, Lynn Geesaman, Geoffry James, Len Jenshel, Erica Lennard, Jack Pierson and Jean Rault.
A fully illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition and is co-published by the American Federation of Afts and Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
The Hudson River Museum is located at 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers NY. minutes from the Saw Mill River Parkway, exit 9, north or southbound.
Information and directions: 914.963.4550 and www.hrm.org.
Museum admission: Adults $5; Seniors 62 & older and children 5-16 $3. Fridays 5 to 8 pm to galleries and the planetarium free