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FLOWER 1, a. The reproductive structure of a seed-bearing plant, characteristically having specialized male and female organs, as
stamens & a pistil enclosed in an outer envelope of petals and sepals.
b. Any such structure having showy or colorful parts; a blossom.
- American Heritage Dictionary

El Camino College Art Gallery presents the work of 14 Southern California artists in Winter’s Blossom / images of flowers.
Despite the long brewing distrust of the hedonistic beauty of flower imagery, the tradition of using flowers as a subject of artistic expression is alive and thriving today. From the sensually feminine paintings of Georgia O’Keefe to the brooding, tar and spackle tulips of Donald Sultan and the vibrating bouquets of plastic flowers by Wayne Thiebaud. Flowers remain a vital metaphor for all that is generative. However, sometimes flowers are thought of as more than simple harbingers of spring. Viewed as a microcosm for life, they can symbolize the transitory nature of all that is earthly; suggest the realm of the erotic; be used as a symbolic language of love and be employed simultaneously to celebrate both life and death.

The uses and symbolism of individual flowers is ancient, complex and sometimes contradictory. For instance, roses have long association with the feminine. Throughout the Orient, the flower of goddesses was the red China rose, Romans knew it as the Flower of Venus. Early Arab poets used the rose to embody female genitalia, and French troubadours did the same, while Christianity associated the rose with the worship of the Virgin Mary and the resurrection of Christ. The advent of Romanticism brought the connection of roses and love. In addition. significance has been placed upon color and number of petals of flowers. Roses of a certain type and color became mystic symbols of alchemy and hermetic lore. A 7-petaled rose meant among other things, the seven degrees of enlightenment while in India the 8-petaled rose symbolized regeneration. Similarly, many other flowers have traditional meanings, though few are as varied as the rose.

-SUSANNA MEIERS
Curator El Camino College Art Gallery


We regret that photographic documentation of every artist's work who participated in this exhibit is not available at this site.

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We regret that photographic documentation of each artist's imagery is not available at this time. Click on image to zoom in.
The elegant Morning Becomes Electra series of photographs by Joel Glassman present greatly enlarged and highly sexualized images of orchids in black and white.
With surgical precision, Carol Goldmark delineates a territory where life merges with death in her drawings and ultra realistic paintings of dead flowers.
Flora Corpori #10, mixed media on vellum, 12" x 18"
Carrie Ungerman shows rambling vines with brilliantly colored flowers constructed of wire and translucent plastic gel which evidence a playful relationship to nature.
Raindrops (detail), wire, plastic gel
In his series ManipuNature, Lawrence T. Yun realistically incorporates images of flowers and other plants with artifacts, creating new hybrids. These watercolors reveal his observations about the relationship between culture and nature; man-made versus natural.
Bird of Paradise, Watercolor, 10" x 10"
While the paintings and drawings of Sandra Sallin evoke an awareness of European art history, they explore reflection and refraction of light, all the while dealing with luscious images of flowers.
White Harvest , oil, canvas on panel,
30" x 24"

The paintings of Stephen Curry depict oversized views of garden variety weeds, taking as his subject that which is often underfoot, ignored and unseen.
Anywhere, oil & alkyd on canvas,
18" x 14"

The hauntingly still but lifelike constructions by Mark Housley gently play upon the symbolism of plants as metaphors for sexuality and the tenacity of the human spirit.
 
  With maniacal finesse, Marilyn Neuhart produces exquisite flowering quilts and humorous dolls in scintillating color.
The energetic paintings by Michael P. Griffin straddle a line between humor and darkiness and seem to depict a vision of flowers as vessels of medicinal and psycho tropic experience..
 
  Using images gleaned from her garden and love of traditional American design,Kathryn Herrman produces exuberantly beautiful batik fabrics.
Utilizing discarded Polaroid film cartridges as her canvas, Laura Stickney paints seed pods of roses, bromeliads and magnolias, steeping her tiny and poetic works in layers of meaning.
 
The sensual bouquet and quilt paintings of Ruth Dennis seem to relish and celebrate the feminine and fecund.
The gigantically over scaled wooden flower bulbs and roots of Pat Warner assume an oddly menacing quality, not unlike viewing most forms of life under a microscope.
 

Bulbous floral forms rooted in marvelously obsessive dotted fields comprise the images in the current works by Olga Seem. While approaching the abstract, her flowers appear as mysterious engorged vessels, bulging with the unknown.

   
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 Last Updated On: 1/13/06