When Ellsworth Kelly debuted in the art world in late-1940s Paris, he launched a career that would become synonymous with bold, geometric paintings and abstract sculpture. But while the museum-public was viewing his panels of saturated color, Mr. Kelly, now 89, was pursuing a second, lesser-known study—drawings of plants. An exhibit of this work, spanning six decades, is currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Quilting enthusiasts in New York City can visit "Botanical Inspirations," a show of 22 quilts by the Quilters Guild of Brooklyn. The exhibit is at the Windsor Terrace Library, and runs through February 7th (160 E. 5th St. at Ft. Hamilton Pkwy. Brooklyn, NY 11218). If you're not in the neighborhood, enjoy our slideshow with work by other quilters and appliqué designers.
What meaning can we ascribe to objects that were meant to have none? That’s the question Washington, D.C., porcelain studio Middle Kingdom (middlekingdomporcelain.com) addresses with its new collection of cheerful porcelain vases.
If art is an interpretation of the observable world, then the artist's work is a negotiation between the literal and the imagined. Many botanic artists fall heavily towards the former. Their art is admired for faithful reproductions of plant subjects and whether out of reverence for their beauty—"I couldn't possibly improve on this exquisite blossom"—or adherence to a scientific imperative—"My purpose is to document the form, aphids and all"—they work toward an accurate representation of the botanic world.