On view through April 16, 2023
Monterey Museum of Art
“Flora Fauna” presents a visual celebration of the natural world centered around the work of two California representational artists, Elizabeth Barlow and Susan Manchester. Set in conversation with flora and fauna-inspired works from the Monterey Museum of Art’s permanent collection and select loans from the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, the exhibition examines how representations of the plant and animal kingdoms have evolved over the last three centuries. Although the natural world has played muse to artists throughout history, “Flora Fauna” looks beyond frivolity to suggest a more reciprocal and imperative dynamic to the relationship – the effects of climate change and the resulting vulnerability of our region’s own unique and treasured ecosystems. Beneath the surface of their near-perfect semblances of beauty, Elizabeth Barlow and Susan Manchester share a reverence and concern for the natural world that sustains their work and artistry.
[Images: (Left) Elizabeth Barlow, Glory, oil on linen, 24 x 36 in. Collection of Bob and Ellen Peck. (Right) Susan Manchester, California Condor Feather: Left Wing, 2021, From the series Floating World, Graphite and conté crayon on paper, 37.5 x 41.5 in. Courtesy of Andra Norris Gallery.]