Opening Reception: Thursday, September 12, 6-8pm
Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present Carmen Almon & Suzi Davidoff: Selected Works.
Utilizing different approaches, the artists featured in this exhibition each find inspiration through their connection to nature, both as scientific investigation and spiritual exploration.
Carmen Almon uses copper sheeting, brass tubing, steel wire and enamel paint to create exquisite botanical sculptures. She captures the fragility of a moment in time by interpreting particular plants based on her memories of them. “These botanical compositions seem to defy their sheet-metal origins to come alive. Branches bend, vines loop, leaves twist, and a few surprising bugs, from butterflies to beetles, drop in to colonize her plants.” Through her work, one is reminded of the beautifully illustrated botanical books of the 17th and 18th century – Linneaeus, Ehret, Redouté – which Carmen often refers to for inspiration. Each piece takes up to twelve weeks to complete, therefore, few are realized each year making them rare treasures.
In reference to our human connection to flowers, Carmen states, “Romance, marriage, funerals. Subconsciously, they represent so many things, innocent beauty, courage in the face of obstacles and continuity in the cycle of life and death. When I work on a plant, I am often thinking of this.”
Suzi Davidoff is influenced by her close connection to nature and by what she calls, “the spirit of investigation and observation of the natural world.” Her work explores themes of structure, sustainability, and perception of our environment. Davidoff’s current body of work considers the intricate patterns found in nature and the overlaying systems used to observe, map, and define organic landscapes. Her process begins with a walk, most often through the West Texas desert, where she lives. Along the way, she picks up bits of moss and lichen, handfuls of dirt, and other natural materials. She rubs her found materials onto her paper serving as the ground for her composition and creating a physical connection between personal experience and the finished work. These pieces emulate a conversation about human-wrought changes in the ecosystem. They are an exploration of the contrast between the clarity and wonder of the natural world and the present instability of specific natural forms.
Almon grew up in Barcelona and Washington DC and resides in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her works are exhibited at the Chinese Porcelain Gallery, NY; and Octavia Art Gallery, TX and LA, as well as featured at art fairs worldwide. She was recently written up by Architectural Digest, The New York Times, and Martha Stewart Living magazine and her works are found in prestigious private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe.
Davidoff is based in the Chihuahuan desert of West Texas. She received her BFA at the University of Texas at El Paso and attended New Mexico State University for her MA and MFA. She has had solo exhibitions at the Rubim Center for the Visual Arts, TX; Chicago Art Source, IL; Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, NM; Flatbed Press, TX; among many others. Her work is the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, DC; Art in Embassies, MX; El Paso Museum of Art, TX; Hallmark Collection, MO, and the Texas Tech University Museum, TX. Davidoff has been the recipient of the Mid-America NEW Fellowship and a Ford Foundation/ Pollock-Siquieros Bi-national Art Award.