Exhibitionin Saint Augustine, FL / United States
“The text can be read forward or backward, lose its sense and find it again in many versions, in a thousand alternatives. Because the text of spring is marked by hints, ellipses, lines dotted on an empty azure, and because the gaps between the syllables are filled by the frivolous guesses and surmises of birds…” (Excerpt from “Spring” (1934), Bruno Schulz)
In “Animal Print”, Houston-based artist Natasha Bowdoin continues to explore the close relationship between drawing and collage in this new series of cut paper works. In contrast to these dense works, the exhibition will also feature a wall of small gouache and ink drawings depicting a range of insects and mammals. The gestural nature of the drawings compliments the obsessive cut paper works.
The patterns in Bowdoin’s meticulous formal constructions reference the natural world, this time from insectile and reptilian patterns to flower petals and leaves. Within these abstract constructions lies transcribed text from Bruno Schulz’s (1892 – 1942) short story titled “Spring”. Like the novella, Bowdoin’s work is surreal and suggestive. Shapes hint at sylvan forms amid a reoccurring mask-like motif. Faces and heads (of what?) are camouflaged within indicating some presence. The text, purposely illegible at times, adds a layer of confusion and intrigue. The idea of literature and the natural world layered together suggest a deeper force.
That play of pattern and disorder are at the core of Bowdoin’s work. Each layer collapses into chaos only to return to some kind of natural order. In Roberto Bolaño’s 1996 short novel, “Distant Star”, Bruno Schulz’s writing is described by the protagonist: “I was reading, but the words were passing by like incomprehensible beetles, busy in an enigmatic world”.
Natasha Bowdoin received a MFA from Tyler School of Art, PA, a BA and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from Brandeis University, MA, and has also completed studies at Slade School of Art, London. She completed a residency at The Core Program, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX from 2008-2010 and has been awarded residencies at the Roswell AIR Program, NM (2013) and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE (2012). Bowdoin is a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (2007). Her work was the subject of a solo exhibition at Savannah College of Art and Design Museum (SCAD), GA in 2015. Recent group exhibitions include Hardesty Arts Center, Tulsa, OK (catalog essay by Michelle Grabner); the CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands; the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME and Monya Rowe Gallery. Bowdoin lives and works in Houston, TX. This is her third solo exhibition at Monya Rowe Gallery.
Gallery hours Mon-Wed by appointment, Thur-Sat noon – 6 pm, Sun noon – 5 pm
Monya Rowe Gallery
4 Rohde Avenue
32084 Saint Augustine, FL