Talley Dunn Gallery
June 15 – August 10, 2019
Seedling features Bowdoin’s immersive installations of natural abundance, transforming the gallery into a space overflowing with creeping vines, carnivorous plants, and acid color. This exhibition offers North Texas audiences the opportunity to view work which debuted early this year at the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University. Bowdoin’s site-specific installation Sideways to the Sun received critical acclaim and garnered public enthusiasm throughout its duration at the Moody Center. Now, Bowdoin presents Seedling as the newest iteration of her large-scale cut paper and collage work. Blooms on the wall, floor, and moveable panels are exuberant yet ominous in their scale and density. With this celebration of natural forms and their potential for unruly transformation, Bowdoin cultivates a new appreciation of nature. Attuned to wild undergrowth, swamps, and thickets—spaces habitually viewed as marginal—Seedling evokes a fecund chaos beyond human control.
Bowdoin explores the complex and multivalent relationships with the natural world through many sources, including literature, popular culture, and the works of other artists. The blooms of Seedling reference nineteenth-century botanical illustrations, 1970s floral prints, cartoons, transcendentalist philosophies, George Méliès’ 1902 silent science fiction film A Trip to the Moon, and other stories of exploration to far-off lands. For Bowdoin, these many sources speak to how we understand ourselves in relation to the world around us. Examining them provides the artist a way to reevaluate her orientation to nature. Bowdoin writes of the installation, “In this world no form is necessarily fixed, no entity entirely safe from corruption; boundaries of bodies are rendered irrelevant.” In the imagined space of Seedling, the standard hierarchies of our society recede, and unforeseen possibilities flourish.
Natasha Bowdoin (b. 1981, West Kennebunk, ME) lives and works in Houston, where she is an assistant professor of painting and drawing at Rice University. She received her MFA in painting from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA), and her BA in classics and studio art from Brandeis University (Waltham, MA). Bowdoin has been awarded numerous artist residencies and grants, including a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (2007) and residencies with the Core Program, Museum of Fine Arts Houston (2008-2010), at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (2012), and with the Roswell AIR program (2013). She has exhibited widely with many gallery and museum exhibitions over the past decade, including recent solo exhibitions: Sideways to the Sun at the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, Houston, TX (2019), Maneater at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA (2018-2019), Lunar Spring at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, VA (2017), and Bloom at the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art (2015).