The Floral Ghost
107 W 28th Street
October 24th – December 12th, 2014
This October, Planthouse Gallery has invited six artists – Simryn Gill, Florian Meisenberg, Katia Santibañez, Philip Taaffe, Fred Tomaselli, and Anton Würth – along with the writer Susan Orlean, to consider plants and the perpetually changing nature of the city, as seen through the prism of the gallery’s location in New York’s historic Plant District. Co-curated by May Castleberry and Raymond Foye in association with Planthouse, The Floral Ghost takes, as a guide, the defining image of the scraped down, faded layers of botanical prints which papered the walls (and appear on the homepage of the gallery’s website) of the former plant shop before its 2013 renovation and subsequent transformation into a gallery space. The gallery serves as a temporary hub for work that explores the ephemeral nature of commerce, merchandising and urban evolution, much like the delicate nature of the plant itself. Using printed, drawn and painted matter, The Floral Ghost invites these artists to contribute another layer of botanically inspired imagery to the storied walls of 107 West 28th Street.
In addition to the work displayed in the space, each artist has also created an original print for this exhibition. The gallery’s cold cellar (once used to preserve plants) will play host to a site specific installation by Philip Taaffe consisting of never before exhibited “mechanical-botanical” silkscreened images, which are used as a basis for many of his paintings. Additionally, the exhibition will include an original, on site graphite wall drawing by Katia Santibañez, a large, limited edition photograph by Malaysia based Simryn Gill, intricate etchings by Anton Würth, gouaches on unique photograms by Fred Tomaselli, a painting from Florian Meisenberg, and an essay penned by Susan Orlean reflecting on a poignant moment when she first visited the lively floral district in its resplendent heyday.
Six original prints by Simryn Gill, Florian Meisenberg, Katia Santibañez, Philip Taaffe, Fred Tomaselli, and Anton Würth, as well as an essay by Susan Orlean, will be published by Planthouse as a portfolio, which measures approximately 15 x 20 inches. The prints include: an engraving by Anton Würth, printed by the artist in Germany; a linoleum and woodcut printed by Katia Santibañez, printed by Mae Shore of Shore Publishing in Tuxedo, NewYork; a photogravure by Simryn Gill, printed by Lothar Osterberg in Brooklyn; 50 unique monoprints by Philip Taaffe printed by the artist in New York; a silkscreen and an image by Florian Meisenberg printed by letterpress and silkscreen by Brad Ewing at The Grenfell Press; and a photogram and silkscreen by Fred Tomaselli, printed by Erik Hougen at The Lower East Side Print Shop. Planthouse co-directors Katie Michel and Brad Ewing designed the portfolio and printed a broadside with Susan Orleans’ text to accompany the portfolio as well as for wider circulation.
The edition is limited to 50 copies numbered 1-50. The contents of the portfolio will be made available to a broader audience as a book or in a digital format.