Rochester, N.Y., June 7, 2019—The George Eastman Museum announces Tanya Marcuse: Woven is now on view through January 5, 2020. The artist, Tanya Marcuse, will be in Rochester tonight for a conversation with Lisa Hostetler, Curator in Charge of the Department of Photography, at 6 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre. Following the conversation, the exhibition gallery will be open to view, and Marcuse will be signing copies of her book, Fruitless / Fallen / Woven (Radius, 2019).
The exhibition features Marcuse’s latest series of photographs, Woven, which expands on the artist’s long fascination with cycles of growth and decay in the natural world. Her work features flora and fauna gathered from her immediate surroundings and composed into striking arrangements that suggest the abstract, large-scale paintings of Jackson Pollock and the symbolism of medieval tapestries. There are seven photographs on display in the exhibition, that range in size from three feet high and eight feet wide to five feet high and 13 feet wide. One of the works was created specifically for this exhibition.
To create these massive images, Marcuse begins by collecting plant, animal, and mineral minutiae and arranging them on a custom-built structure she designed for this project. The visually rich all-over compositions are teeming with overripe fruit, insect carcasses, bright blooms, living creatures, and other Boschian delights (and terrors). She tends the “living garden” as it evolves, changing colors and form until it feels resolved both visually and conceptually.
“Tanya Marcuse’s Woven images create an intensely compacted array of life and provide the viewer with a generous opportunity for up-close visual discovery while from a distance they emit a powerful, immersive presence,” said Hostetler. “At once bold and delicate, fantastical and believable, these photographs invite us to ponder life and death as intricately interwoven phenomena.”
Marcuse’s limited-edition artist’s book, Entries on Eden, a collaboration with her daughter, author Eve Romm, is also on display as part of the exhibition, and her new, three-volume publication, Tanya Marcuse: Fruitless | Fallen | Woven is available for purchase in the Museum Store. She will be signing copies of the book outside of the gallery following the conversation tonight.
About Tanya Marcuse
Tanya began making photographs as an early college student at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. She went on to study Art History and Studio Art at Oberlin and earned her MFA from Yale. After Oberlin, she lived in the rainforest with a small group of Indians on a year-long Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, photographing and writing. Her photographs are in many collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the George Eastman House. In 2002, she received a Guggenheim fellowship to pursue her project Undergarments and Armor. In 2005, she embarked on a three-part, 14-year-project, Fruitless | Fallen| Woven, beginning with moving from serial, iconic photographs of trees in Fruitless to lush, immersive, allegorical works in Fallen and Woven. Tanya is a student of martial arts and boxing as a method of cultivating mental and physical concentration and discipline. Tanya’s books include Undergarments and Armor (Nazraeli Press, 2005), Wax Bodies (Nazraeli Press, 2012), and Fruitless | Fallen | Woven (Radius Press, 2019).
Marcuse lives in the Hudson Valley, New York, with her husband, author James Romm, and their three children.
About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and, through its joint master’s degree program with the University of Rochester, makes critical contributions to the fields of film preservation and of photographic preservation and collection management. For more information, visit eastman.org.