New Exhibition at Heather James Fine Art Features Work by Artist Penelope Gottlieb

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New Exhibition at Heather James Fine Art Features Work by Artist Penelope Gottlieb
Penelope Gottlieb, Araujia sericifera, 2011. Acrylic and ink over Audubon print, 37 1/2 x 25 in. Photo: Courtesy Heather James Fine Art.

JACKSON, WY.- Heather James Fine Art presents new paintings by Penelope Gottlieb. The exhibition is on view August 18 - September 30, 2011. Penelope Gottlieb’s latest paintings are a natural evolution from her recent series, “Gone,” in which the artist recreated a series of plants on the ‘confirmed extinction’ list that have no known visual reference by reconstructing them from botanists’ descriptions.

With her new body of work, Gottlieb is playing upon the theme of John James Audubon’s commodification of the natural world via his marketing of prints, reflecting the consumption of nature prevalent in the social attitudes of the 19th century. Painting directly over pre-existing Audubon prints, Gottlieb envelops the wildlife in a tightly woven braid of plant leaves, tendrils and tentacles, so that what would normally be part of the creatures’ natural habitat has suddenly turned on them as a form of domestic colonization. The resulting visual “mash-up” of historical representation of nature with the consequences of nonnative invasive species of plant-life overpowering their environment create a form of contemporary historical discourse. Gottlieb’s direct mark making and painting on the found prints function as an additional “invasive” species, thus raising implicit issues of power/knowledge in relation to systems of classification in addition to her more explicit ecological critique.

Penelope Gottlieb received her BFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA and her MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Lotusland, Montecito, CA; Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV; Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA; Lightbox Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, and at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum among others. Additionally, her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA; Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, and the Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA among others.

Heather James Fine Art is located at 172 Center Street in Jackson and features a wide array of art ranging from Impressionist and Modern art to Post-War and Contemporary, American, Latin American, Old Master, Photography and Design.

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