September 21 - November 23
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Opening Reception

 The Horticultural Society of New York (The Hort) is pleased to present the fourteenth annual international juried exhibition of the American Society of Botanical Artists, which will open with a reception on September 21, from 6pm to 8pm.  One of the world’s premier venues for botanical art, this annual exhibition showcases some of the most important artists in the field, both established and emerging.  

Chosen from a field of 198 submissions, the forty artworks selected by jurors Patricia Jonas, Kathie Miranda, and Derek Norman have been created by artists from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Brazil, and Canada.  A color catalog of the exhibition has been published and will be available for purchase at the exhibition and through the ASBA’s website.

In this year’s exhibition, familiar plant life is displayed along with strange and interesting exotics in a broad range of media.  Regardless of the subject matter, each artist brings a unique interpretation to their chosen subject.  An intensely observed and composed watercolor, “Cherries” in flower and fruit by milly acharya contrasts with a hand-colored etching of an apple tree branch with a single ripening fruit by Bobbi Angell. A surreal egg tempera painting, “Floribunda Rose”, suspended in space by Patricia Mahoney Giebutowski graces the cover of the exhibition catalog, and is a counterpoint to the elegant “Tamora Rose” painted on natural vellum in watercolor by Karen Kluglein.  An ink drawing of a “Crested Myrtillo” cactus by Joan McGann is otherworldly, barely resembling a plant at all, and Ann Fleming’s grouping entitled “Mesa Verde Cactus” in colored pencil depicts a more traditional view in situ.

Autumnal subjects are always a favorite in this exhibition, and dried seedheads are captured by several artists: Kathy Folino’s wind-tossed watercolor rendering, “Bulrush;” Dick Rauh’s large scale, muscular “Peony Follicles” in watercolor; George Olson’s graphic watercolor “Broomcorn;” and Barbara Klaas’s action-packed watercolor of reddish brown “Curly Dock”.  “Indian Hemp” seed pods, as they open up and spill out feathery seeds, have never been so beautifully depicted as in Heeyoung Kim’s exquisitely detailed watercolor painting.

Additional highlights include Fiona Strickland’s watercolor painting of a blooming poppy and Lizzie Sanders’ “Nepenthes”.  Strickland utilizes a striking color palette to capture that moment of anticipation before the poppy bursts into full flower.  Sanders bravely tackles the difficult subject of the tropical pitcher plant, which is seldom painted, especially in its dried form.  For the risk, she has achieved a stunning image, the heft of the trap borne by the springlike tendril of the leaf.

Evidence of the diversity of plant life, trees, clumps of turf, vines, fruits, and flowers depicted in this elegant exhibition will remain on view through November 23.  The Gallery at The Hort is free and open to the public from 12pm – 6pm Monday –Friday.