Zeldin Fellow Resident Artist Alex Ferrante has spent his Fellowship year exploring a new body of work that we will present with this exciting solo exhibition.
Nature morte, often synonymous with still life, translates to dead nature. It brings to mind visual depictions of abundance and power, in the form of colonial bouquets and caged animals. It is the eternal pictorial life of these images that thematizes time and cements the notion of death in the viewer's mind. Nature is cyclical and infinite, it is the picture of nature that is not. Verging Paths, Verdant Ends considers our inclination to still time, to depict, contain, and organize the natural world within the bounds of a canvas. Rather than positioning nature and culture as opposing forces, I complicate this relationship through the process of making. Working with wet clay, my work falls with the forces of gravity and hides moments of clarity within unintelligibility. The unglazed terracotta is vulnerable and brittle, becoming dried leaves and twigs. I cultivate meaning through process and touch -- to make from the inside out. The sculptures in Verging Paths, Verdant Ends are not singular in meaning. A reminder of the way in which nature so often becomes an other, a reflection, a means of defining the self. The sculptures, in their different approaches to making, create a narrative of simultaneous growth and decay and are reminders of the intimate link between beginnings and ends.
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