ALEXIS DE CHAUNAC BOTANICA
curated by Christina Warner in collaboration with Silas von Morisse Gallery
March 20 - April 23, 2019
Opening Friday March 22, 6 - 8 PM
at SSD Lower Level Gallery (Sargent's Daughters)
179 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002
T: 917 463 3901
Gallery hours: Weds-Sun 12-6
Silas von Morisse is pleased to present the "Encore" solo exhibition of Alexis de Chaunac, Botanica, curated by Christina Warner in collaboration with the gallery. The exhibition will be held at SSD Lower Level Gallery (Sargent's Daughters) , 179 East Broadway, New York, NY 10002 Gallery hours: Wed-Sun: 12-6.
In this body of work presented in December 2018 in NYC, de Chaunac draws his inspiration from the natural world, collecting insects, plants and minerals in the spirit of the naturalists. A passion since childhood which has evolved in urging the artist to name, label and classify the world around him. De Chaunac paints and draws on top of original French botanical engravings from the 18th and 19th century, giving new life to these enigmatic herbariums, custodians of naturalistic illustrations of typified plants. His process introduces subtle forms and colors that give new meaning to the material while keeping visible the original illustration and the accurate name of each plant. De Chaunac likes to combine scientific rigor through observation with a sense of fantasy and optical illusion: among the plants, camouflaged human faces and symbiotic relationships with these extremely complex beings emerge. Studies in neuroscience show that neurons connect with each other within our brain just as plants. Those neurological gardens reflect our own personality, mood and energy. Plants not only beautify our planet, they provide oxygen and have exceptional nutritional and medicinal qualities. Because of their infinite variety of colors, shapes and flavors, they are essential ingredients in gastronomy. Some plants are less innocent, as they are hallucinogenic and can even be deadly because of the potency of their poison. As we absorb them, they undergo a transformation and display their properties within our bodies. Each work in this new series correspond to these inner reactions.
Alexis de Chaunac describes drawing as “a transcendental language that anyone can understand.” He works often with ink because of its fluidity, producing rich, multilayered works filled with faces and laden with cultural references. His own artistic rendering of humanity comes from literature. He claims influences from the Scriptures to great epics and all the way to Beat Generation writers such as William S. Burroughs. Referring to his practice as contemporary myth making, he takes archetypes such as Oedipus, Jesus Christ or Dante “working out of them to explore the primitive aspects of human nature”.
Alexis de Chaunac (French-Mexican, b. 1991 in New York, NY). Born in New York and raised between Mexico City and Paris, de Chaunac grew up drawing in the studio of his grandfather – renowned Mexican artist Jose Luis Cuevas. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, NY and has had a few solo museum exhibitions in Mexico at Museo Iconografico del Quijote, Guanajuato, Mexico (2014) and Pinacoteca Diego Rivera (2015).
PLEASE CONTACT THE GALLERY FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE WORKS