London-based artist Simon Heijdens grows plants out of light—illuminated trees, weeds, and flowers with limbs and leaves that flutter, grow, and propagate. And he plants them in unexpected places—not a forest or a park, but an indoor room or a concrete corner. He's interested in nature's fluctuating narrative of growth and decay, and his work transposes these interactions onto constructed environments.
Xavier Dumont’s hand-sculpted furniture pieces twist with an organic elegance that looks like he willed the branches to weave themselves into loose shapes. Those natural forms wind up resembling a desk, easel, mirror frame, arbor, or bench.
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.
This article was originally published as "Stop. Look. Listen." in our June 2012 issue.
"Untitled #2 (Fruit)" Miranda Lichtenstein’s work explores our often tenuous relationship with our environment.
Photo © Guy Laramée
A new exhibit explores the garden as inspiration. Tending Toward the Untamed: Artists Respond to the Wild Garden offers new work by eight artists in a variety of media including painting, animation, photography, and sculpture. The show explores the relationship between natural abandon and horticultural order as it grows in Wave Hill, a garden in the Bronx, New York, that overlooks the Hudson River.
If you're in or around London this weekend, consider a visit to Plants in Peril and Losing Paradise, two exhibitions at Kew Botanical Gardens. Curated from the Shirley Sherwood Collection at Kew, the exhibition emphasizes plants from South Africa, a continent with the greatest diversity of flora and the highest numbers of plants headed for extinction.