The works of 11 contemporary Illinois artists who employ plants as subjects will be on display in “The Leaf and the Page” at the Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery, through January 16. A public reception for the exhibition will take place Friday, September 12, 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
Artists Judith Brotman, Melissa Jay Craig, Stephen Eichhorn, Winifred Godfrey, Dennis Lee Mitchell, Carolyn Ottmers, Olivia Petrides, Rebecca Shore, Eric Wert, Scott Wolniak, and Andrew Young bring the tradition of botanical representation up to date with contemporary concerns and aesthetics.
Their plant-inspired works are imbued with personal, emotive, and narrative qualities that challenge the mind and make these works conduits between humanity and natural world.
Approaches vary from painting, graphite, collage, artists’ books, sculpture, lithography, clay, cast stainless steel, installation, mixed media techniques and the use of trash and found objects.
There is a long and important history of the scientific collection of botanical specimens and plant illustration that also reflects passion and dedication to the pursuit of nature. Herberia specimen sheets from the museum’s collection are presented as visual parallel references.
As part of the 2008 Chicago Artists Month, an annual citywide celebration of Chicago’s vibrant visual arts scene, there will be a free curator’s gallery talk on October 8 from noon to 1:30 pm in the second floor gallery. The exhibition is also part of American Art/American City, a cultural initiative of the Terra Foundation continuing through December 2008.
The Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery is at 100 West Randolph on the second floor of the James R. Thompson Center. For information, www.museum.state.il.us or 312-814-5322.