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This spring, the Sotheby’s Institute of Art-New York MA in Contemporary Art curatorial course will be mounting a series of exhibitions at our campus in midtown Manhattan. You’re invited to the opening receptions for our student-curated exhibitions.

Les Fleurs Sauvages — On view April 4 - 9, 2018

In honor of Women’s History Month, annually in March, five artists have been invited to create artworks inspired by the accomplishments of heroines such as Frida Kahlo, Sofia Kovalevskaya, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tomyris, and Vivian Maier, to name a few. The show Les Fleurs Sauvages is therefore a tribute to women who have shaped history, and it acts as a catalyst to encourage others to dare and rise to their own challenge. Very much in the words of the great artist Judy Chicago, “knowledge of our history”, which suggests the possibility of “standing upon each other's shoulders and building upon each other's hard-earned accomplishments.”

The analogy between women and flowers is investigated through the exhibition. Certainly, they are often associated, for their beauty, apparent delicateness and fragility. However, just like wildflowers always find a way to blossom freely and boldly even in challenging environments, so did the women chosen by the artists achieve to break free of societal confinement, and demonstrated courage and determination against adversity. Their tenacity represents a message of hope, optimism, and empowerment.

The exhibition Les Fleurs Sauvages offers international and interdisciplinary insights on the themes of flowers and metamorphosis, gender and identity, strength and resilience. It assembles diverse practices ranging from floral art, portrait photography, mural art, graphic design, through mixed-media and craft, thus subverting the idea that many of these art forms don’t easily reside within an art world paradigm. It highlights the statement and skills of the following five artists:

  • EVAN PAUL ENGLISH is an American interdisciplinary artist from Meridian, Idaho, now based in Brooklyn, New York. He earned his MFA from Pratt Institute in 2016. He has exhibited work across the United States and he is a recent artist-in-residence at The Wassaic Project. His work uses different media to explore the duality between public and private identity and to challenge gender stereotypes.
  • HITOMI GILLIAM is a Japanese Canadian floral artist, renowned author, keynote lecturer, demonstrator, educator and a consultant in all aspects of the Art and Business of Floral Design. She is based in Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada. Hitomi received the prestigious AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers) ‘Design Influence’ Award, which has been given to only 8 recipients since 1965. She is famous for her contemporary and innovative floral designs, her sophisticated mechanics and techniques, and a dedication to share her knowledge. She presents a site-specific ephemeral and immersive floral art installation using red Gloriosa Lilies, flowers whose attitude and spirit are perfect to illustrate confident, graceful feminism.
  • JEFF HENRIQUEZ is an American muralist based in Brooklyn, New York. He received his BA in art from Bradford College in Bradford, Massachusetts. He has exhibited in numerous locations in the United States, and his works are in private collections worldwide. His artwork, a mural on canvas featuring climbing flowers blooming in an urban landscape, painted in a hyper-realistic style, references the themes of resilience and hope.
  • JULIAN ILJUN JU is a Korean graphic designer raised in Canada, now based in New York. He received his BFA in graphic design in 2016 from the School of Visual Art in New York. He introduces various elaborate poster designs for motion screening, inspired by influential women, depicting feminine faces as well as leaves, and flowers blooming in a dynamic and attractive way.
  • DINA LEE, originally a Koryo-saram born in Uzbekistan at the time of USSR, currently an Italian national, is a photographer based in Vienna, Austria. Her portraiture, focused on women and cultural identity, has been published and exhibited in several European countries. She shows a new series of portrait photography, featuring international women living in Vienna, honoring inspiring figures who have changed history.

The show is curated by Sotheby’s Institute of Art graduate student Nadine Braquetti.

Opening Reception (with flower-themed drinks and sweets): April 4, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
RSVP for the opening is mandatory. Please bring photo identification to gain entry to the building.