Plant Life, curated by the painter (and Western Exhibitions gallery artist) Geoffrey Todd Smith, is a group exhibition of artists who take flowers, plants or weeds as their subject. Each artist transforms and manipulates, formally and conceptually, their leafy content through a variety of materials and manners of expression, asserting their idiosyncratic visions by obsessing over materials, offering the plants new context while broadening the relationship to their human neighbors.
From Geoffrey Todd Smith:
I’ve never organized a group show before but I’ve been kicking around in my head the idea of putting together a show presenting artists with whom I share some philosophical affinity yet whose work looks nothing like my own. I've long been captivated by the ex-Chicagoan (now living in Portland, Oregon) Eric Wert's meticulous, almost old-fashioned (in a good way!) hyper-realist still-life paintings of flowers in vases against patterned backdrops and have long wanted to see how these paintings would work in a conversation with artists who work with more contemporary idioms. So I added an eclectic group of artists, mostly Chicagoans, who depict plants, weeds and flowers in a variety of mediums, from painting to collage to sculpture, to some, like Heidi Norton, who use actual living plants in her assemblages.