The Artificial Order of Things
JUNE–AUGUST 2015June 11 – August 28, 2015
Mixed Greens is thrilled to present an expansive, site-specific installation by Baltimore-based artist Amy Boone-McCreesh. Using colorful found objects including fabrics, plastics, and items associated with decoration and ceremony, Boone-McCreesh contains a rockus celebration behind the 26th Street windows.
Throughout her career, Boone-McCreesh has taken aesthetic cues from international displays of ceremony, decoration, and commemoration. Bold colors, patterns, and textures appear in both her collages and sculptures, creating work that, at first glance, feels unapologetically cheerful in its lavish glory. However, the vibrancy of the work belies her acute awareness of the history of decoration and its place as a visual indicator and reminder of wealth and socioeconomic class. Balancing formal qualities and conceptual references with great skill, Boone-McCreesh explores themes of power and status within a contemporary visual vocabulary.
The Artificial Order of Things is a lush organism, beginning as a large, organic mass in the left window, dissipating into garlands in the middle window, and then reforming into a hanging accumulation in the final window. Its undulating, fluttering form resembles tropical hanging vines in the natural world, while the individual components and colors reveal their utterly artificial sources: both the materials and rituals for which they are manufactured are entirely manmade.
The black background, while functioning as a visual anchor for the overtly decorative foreground, also speaks to the traditions of 17th century Dutch still life paintings which often incorporated exotic fruits and flowers as signifiers of the patron’s wealth. In The Artificial Order of Things, Boone-McCreesh instead uses celebratory and funerary ephemera such as ribbons, streamers, and artificial flowers, to allude to the life cycle from birth to death. The colors and textures appear to be growing from the darkness, while remaining eerily still. Symbols of wealth, access, culture, and aging are ordered and hung in a maximal gesture.
Amy Boone-McCreesh was born in Maine and raised in Southern Pennsylvania. After receiving a BFA from the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design she moved to Baltimore, where she currently resides. In 2010, she completed the MFA program at Towson University in Maryland, with a focus in Studio Arts. In 2014, she completed a two-year fellowship for emerging artists at the Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington DC, where she exhibited and was included in the Scope Miami and (e)merge DC art fairs. Shortly after, the Department of State commissioned a piece for the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico. Recent publications and features include New American Paintings and The Craft Companion, published by Thames and Hudson Australia. Boone-McCreesh is currently adjunct faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art and a writer for BmoreArt.
For more information, please visit amyboonemccreesh.com
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