As we come to the end of summer, the season of growing things, our new book shelf features monographs about three artists that derive their artistic inspiration from the natural world.
An added plus - one of these is an exhibition catalog from a show that is currently up at New York City s own Bronx Botanic Garden until November 1, so if the work calls to you there s the opportunity to see it in the flesh, so to speak.
F.K.s garden
Frida Kahlo's Garden
by Adriana Zavala
Accompanying the groundbreaking exhibition "Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life" at The New York Botanical Garden, this vibrant book provides a thrilling new perspective from which to appreciate Frida Kahlo's paintings against the backdrop of her home and garden. Frida Kahlo created a natural paradise in her home at the Casa Azul in Mexico City. The plants cultivated there were vital components of some of her most original work, and an important part of her fascination with indigenous Mexican history and culture. From early paintings dating from the 1920s to her last known work, Kahlo's use of botanical imagery reflects not only a love of the natural world, but also an evolving iconography. By focusing attention on this aspect of her art and its relationship to her garden sanctuary, the book demonstrates how the natural world provided Kahlo with inspiration. In addition to dazzling full-page reproductions of Kahlo's paintings and works on paper, the book also includes essays presenting Kahlo as an avid collector of artifacts, animals, books, and plants. Archival photos trace the evolution of the Casa Azul over the course of the artist's lifetime. Additionally, it explores Mexican architecture, landscape design, and gardens of the early 20th century. Fans of botanical art, garden enthusiasts, and Kahlo's many devotees will find new and exciting images and information in this elegant, unique presentation of one of modern art's most revered figures.
See more pictures of the Botanic Garden s exhibition Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life.
Art and the biological sublime in the 21st century
Edited by Regine Rapp Christian de Lutz
With 96 Color Photographs
This book provides a sustainable supplement to the biologies biologies series which took place at Art Laboratory Berlin between 2013 and 2015. The whole programme consisted of four group shows, several seminars and talks on contemporary art and the life sciences. Four exhibitions the biosphere, organisms, the bacterial sublime, and proteo featured renowned international artists working across the borders between the arts and different fields of biology. Next to a theoretical reflection about the exhibited artists the publication also includes artist statements and documents a number of outstanding events from the series workshops and seminars with artists, biologists, and scholars, discussing synthetic biology, speculative design, DIY Bio, and practical exercises in citizen science.
glass veil
The Glass Veil: Seven Adventures in Wonderland (Art - Knowledge - Theory)
by Suzanne Anker, Sabine Flach
Both authors of The Glass Veil are on the faculty here at SVA, Suzanne Anker is chair of the BFA Fine Arts department, and Sabine Flach teaches Art History in BFA Fine Arts.
In this collaborative work between artist and theorist Suzanne Anker and art historian Sabine Flach, the study of image production unveils the reality of pictures beyond their function as mere representations of the world. The visuals range from firsthand accounts of specimen collections in historical medical museums, to scientific research laboratories, to studies of plant propagation, among other themes concerning life forms and Bio Art. Focusing on systems of artistic knowledge, the authors demonstrate how context, scale and framing devices alter meaning in pictorial systems. Somatic responses, classification networks and image banks are explored as they relate to intersections in visual art and the biological sciences.