The George Eastman Museum presents Tanya Marcuse: Woven. The exhibition features Marcuse’s latest series of photographs, Woven, which expands on the artist’s long fascination with cycles of growth and decay in the natural world. Her work features flora and fauna gathered from her immediate surroundings and composed into striking arrangements that suggest the abstract, large-scale paintings of Jackson Pollock and the symbolism of medieval tapestries. There are seven photographs on display in the exhibition, that range in size from three feet high and eight feet wide to five feet high and 13 feet wide. One of the works was created specifically for this exhibition.
To create these massive images, Marcuse begins by collecting plant, animal, and mineral minutiae and arranging them on a custom-built structure she designed for this project. The visually rich all-over compositions are teeming with overripe fruit, insect carcasses, bright blooms, living creatures, and other Boschian delights (and terrors). She tends the “living garden” as it evolves, changing colors and form until it feels resolved both visually and conceptually.
“Tanya Marcuse’s Woven images create an intensely compacted array of life and provide the viewer with a generous opportunity for up-close visual discovery while from a distance they emit a powerful, immersive presence,” said Hostetler. “At once bold and delicate, fantastical and believable, these photographs invite us to ponder life and death as intricately interwoven phenomena.”
About Tanya Marcuse
Tanya began making photographs as an early college student at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. She went on to study Art History and Studio Art at Oberlin and earned her MFA from Yale. After Oberlin, she lived in the rainforest with a small group of Indians on a year-long Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, photographing and writing. Her photographs are in many collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the George Eastman House. In 2002, she received a Guggenheim fellowship to pursue her project Undergarments and Armor. In 2005, she embarked on a three-part, 14-year-project, Fruitless | Fallen| Woven, beginning with moving from serial, iconic photographs of trees in Fruitless to lush, immersive, allegorical works in Fallen and Woven. Tanya is a student of martial arts and boxing as a method of cultivating mental and physical concentration and discipline. Tanya’s books include Undergarments and Armor (Nazraeli Press, 2005), Wax Bodies (Nazraeli Press, 2012), and Fruitless | Fallen | Woven (Radius Press, 2019).
Marcuse lives in the Hudson Valley, New York, with her husband, author James Romm, and their three children.
Tanya Marcuse : Woven
on view through January 5, 2020
George Eastman Museum
900 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607