If art is to be relevant to the environment, it needs to move beyond an art context to engage with the land itself.
At Goldfinch gallery in Chicago, an exhibition pays homage to the plant species that thrive amid the city’s concrete plots.
Every once in a while I see a show that makes me feel good, even hopeful about this overheated, self-aggrandizing, status-obsessed art scene in New York. Chroma Botanica: Ellie Irons & Linda Stillman was such an exhibition for me.
In recent years, my interest has grown in how art can help tackle the environmental devastation of our planet. During that time, I’ve begun following the artist and educator Ellie Irons, both for her work and her thinking.
Many of the native plants in New York have been pushed out of the city’s concrete expanses, but that’s not to say the boroughs don’t have a botanic profile. Artist Ellie Irons has spent three summers cultivating and creating pigments from the invasive plant species that have taken root in vacant lots and urban gardens.