Sandra Gering Gallery is pleased to present a thematic group exhibition titled The Orchid Thief, on view from 21 January 25 February 2006. The show is organized by artist and curator Augusto Arbizo and Sandra Gering.
The exhibition takes its title from Susan Orleans bestselling book which itself became the basis for the acclaimed film Adaptation. The Orchid Thief is a story about orchid collecting, iguana smuggling, ecology, and the case of the only known extraterrestrial plant crime. But it is ultimately a strange and fascinating tale about beauty and obsession. Taking the books theme and title as its cue, this exhibition features a group of artists whose work explores themes of beauty and the baroque, taking "decorative" form as corrupted images and objects based on nature. The Orchid Thief exhibition presents recent work by two painters, a sculptor, a photographer, and a landscape artist along with the vintage botanical photogravures of Karl Blossfeldt.
Augusto Arbizo makes optically charged abstract paintings that vacillate in form from flowers and butterflies to romantic landscapes. Karl Blossfeldts fascination with botanical forms is obsessively catalogued in his photographic series of leaves and vegetal cuttings. Paula Hayes works with glass, silicone and other non-traditional media to create terrariums, planters and other vessels that contain flora and fauna. Julia Kunin subverts the traditional craft of high-fired glazed porcelain by constructing tabletop size sculptures of accumulated sea life such as octopus, shellfish, and seaweeds. Gina Magids paintings on black satin deploy figures, animals and natural motifs in service of deeply personal narratives. Helen Rousakis photographs existing natural objects lush bulbs, fruits, and vegetables submerged in water to create a new "nature" of her own design.
As an installation, The Orchid Thief will address the idea of controlled or contained beauty and the notion of obsessive craft and technique in service of flights of fancy in natural forms.