July 15 to October 08, 2011
This exhibition examines the concept of the garden, not only as a means of survival but as a site of contemplation, leisure, and exploration. Gardens have always had a variety of associations, symbolizing an Edenic paradise, issues of labour, gender, and folklore, even modernist ideas of progress.
Comprising an assortment of more contemporary artworks from Museum London’s vaults, Garden Variety highlights such acquisitions as Mandelbrote’s Garden (1987-88) by London artist Thelma Rosner. Her set of large panels examines the careful cultivation of plants, themselves manifestations of riotous, living colour, and questions traditional approaches to representation. The exhibition also includes Bob Bozak’s Still Promises (1985-87), a mixed media consideration of a dormant winter garden.
While author Virginia Woolf saw the garden as a microcosm of the distractions and chaos of modernity, Jack Chambers’ Grass Box No. 3 (1970) presents a view of the landscape in the form of that ubiquitous icon of suburbia, the well-groomed, impassive lawn.