Botanical art
North Gallery, left to right: Ingrid Finnan, “Wave Hill European Copper Beech,” 2017, ‘Fagus sylvatica’ 'Atropurpurea', oil on paper, 12 ½ x 12 ½ inches (mat opening), 19 ¾ x 19 ¾ inches (frame size); Lucy Martin, “Valley Oak with Oak Galls and Lichen,” 2018, ‘Quercus lobata’; Oak galls generated by wasps of the Cynipidae family; ‘Teloschistes chrysophthalmus, Evernia prunastri, Usnea sp., Xanthoria parietina, Flavopunctelia flaventior, Flavoparmelia caperata,’ gouache on paper, 23 x 17 inches (mat opening), 29 x 23 inches (frame size); Ksenia Mamonova, “Maple Samaras,” 2017, ‘Acer platanoides,’ watercolor and graphite on paper, 20 x 16 inches (mat opening), 28 x 24 inches (frame size).

In a new collaboration, Wave Hill is partnering with the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) to produce and host the juried 21st Annual International exhibition. ASBA advances the tradition and contemporary practice of botanical art. On view in Wave Hill’s Glyndor Gallery will be botanical artworks by 47 international artists from the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Russia, Slovenia and the UK. The artworks were selected from a competitive pool of more than 180 submissions, and juried by garden lecturer, author and photographer Ken Druse, botanical artist Karen Kluglein and Eileen Jeng Lynch, Wave Hill’s Curator of Visual Arts.

New Partnership Marries Horticultural and Artistic Excellence
Exhibitions Committee Chair Patricia Jonas, also on Wave Hill’s Friends of Horticulture Committee, explains that “For over 50 years, Wave Hill’s vibrant arts program has inspired gardeners as much as artists; and its gloriously creative horticulture has inspired artists as much as gardeners. It is hard to imagine, then, a more perfect partnership than Wave Hill’s with the ASBA, whose members’ art is inspired by the plant world in all of its beauty, diversity, and complexity.”

Exhibition Features Varied Interpretations This year’s exhibition features native and exotic flowers, fruits, roots, trees and vegetables, including some specimens found at Wave Hill: Asuka Hishiki’s “Wave Hill Little Gangsters” (2018) features four succulents and their unique characteristics — from the round, prickly, segmented shape of Euphorbia obesa to the fleshy stem and compact leaves of Glottiphyllum nelii — along with a deceased bee. The vibrant red hue of the leaves and purplish-blue berries of Myra Sourkes’s watercolor “Virginia Creeper” (2018) epitomizes the fall season. Ingrid Finnan’s “Wave Hill European Copper Beech” (2017) is a close-up and detailed rendering in oil paint on paper of the silvery-gray bark of the more than 100-year-old, iconic tree.

South Gallery, left to right: Dick Rauh, “Nigella Capsules x 6,” 2017, ‘Nigella damascene’, watercolor on paper, 28 x 19 inches (mat opening), 34 x 26 inches (frame size); Rose James, “Gustavia: Fairchild Botanical Garden,” 2017, ‘Gustavia superba,’ watercolor on vellum, 8 x 28 inches (mat opening), 13 x 33 inches (frame size); Ksenia Panferova, “Oak leaf,” 2018, Quercus robur’, watercolor on paper, 28 ½ x 21 inches (mat opening).

Unique points of view, bolstered by an attention to detail that is almost excruciating, emerge from the interpretations offered, with the power to astonish and provoke us. Ken Druse explains in his essay in the accompanying catalog: “Nature is exquisite in its own rights. But very often, it takes a special eye to remind or show us for the first time how glorious it is. Photography makes a record, like seeing the world through the screen of a phone — perish the thought. Botanical art makes us stop, just like gardening: we can’t text a friend and dig a hole at the same time or weed or nurture a precious seedling.”

The American Society of Botanical Artists and Wave Hill exhibition, “21st Annual International,” is on view through December 2, 2018 at Wave Hill (Bronx, NY).


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