By bringing together two series by Bruce Davidson taken fifteen years apart—one in New York’s Central Park in the early 1990s, the other in the gardens of Paris in 2005-2006—the Jackson Fine Art gallery offers visitors a political reading. City parks are indicative of the local culture. In New York, they are places to relax and reflect. The architecture of the city makes a few brief appearances, setting the context, but it is the emotion of this man-made nature that dominates, the artificial hills correspond to the curves that people come to the park to show off. In Paris, the roles are reversed: the artifact gives way to the monumental nature, and human intervention is visible in the different structures. Abstract forms triumph and the majestic trees contrast with pieces of Parisian architecture: fountains, the Eiffel Tower, the Haussmanian buildings. The proportions can be deceiving, giving the trees a colossal and sculptural aspect. The visitors who take shelter in the shade are seen from afar, their variegated clothes covering the grass like autumn leaves. Two cities, two natures, each revealing the characteristics of their populations.
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