Return of La Belle Jardinière
(Homage to Women)
Part landscape, part female body and part architecture, these objects are cast from sand, concrete, pigment, and metallic powders. They are an homage to Max Ernst’s The Return of La Belle Jardinière (1967).
The Green Life, Group Show participation, LMAK Gallery
March 27, 2019 - June 9, 2019.
Inconspicuously situated between landscape and architecture is the jardinière or planter; it is an overlooked typology, yet it is a ubiquitous form throughout art and architecture imagery.
A crossover between landscape, interior furniture and small pavilion, in the 19th century la jardinière expresses the anxiety to “annihilate space” as the historian Siegfried Gideon points out. For Gideon jardinieres are a “gentle unreal play of dream elements that the eye delights to follow- as irrational as the sphinxes tails, curling into arabesques that sprout a thin stem balancing a vase.”
Throughout the history of art, garden imagery has alluded to the female gardener, the “jardinière”. She is often depicted as Madonna in the iconographical tradition of the Virgin as a fertile, enclosed garden and associated with certain flowers. This idea of the jardinière is also objectified in a vessel carrying plants.
The jardinieres in these series allude to architectures, landscapes and female body parts: knees, thighs, fortifications, breasts, grottos, caves, elbows, roofs, buttocks, mountains, glutes, domes, ruins...Just as a traditional jardiniere they can stand for themselves as objects and be utilized as vessels for plants.
They are planted with Mother of Thousands, a succulent that produces vegetatively in large numbers by creating small off springs on her leaves. The babies start growing roots and photosynthesizing before they reach the earth. Because of this she has the ability to behave as a weed dominating and crowding out other species that have less efficient means of propagation.
Plant Life by Simone Frazier, an artist and horticulturalist, founder of Open Source Landscape