Philip Taaffe
Composite Nature

November 15, 1997 – January 4, 1998
at Peter Blum SoHo

Peter Blum is pleased to announce the exhibition, Composite Nature, which features drawings, paintings, and monotypes by Philip Taaffe. The exhibition opens on Saturday, November 15, at 99 Wooster Street, and continues to January.

During the past few years, Philip Taaffe's work has become increasingly focused on nature and natural history, where flora and fauna, snakes, lizards, ferns, and palm fronds have appeared frequently in his paintings and works on paper. "Cycles of natural history-growth, predation and decay-have long been part of Taaffe's iconography," as author Brooks Adams writes in Taaffe's recent exhibition catalogue from the Vienna Secession, "but increasingly the early modern linkages drawn between natural history and the history of ornament have become a consuming passion for the painter."

Composite Nature refers to what Taaffe identifies as a more inclusive accumulation of images and elements within his work. Though a combination of media and technique, including oil, enamel and acrylic painting, silkscreen and relief printing, Taaffe integrates his material and chosen subject matter in a very "ecological way" as the artist himself asserts, "so that one makes good use of these resources, accepting them for their potential and for their capacity to be integrated within a larger scheme of things."  Imagery is pulled from pre-existing systems of classification; the work is then generated from photographs of specimens which have been identified and studied. For Taaffe the process of abstraction parallels this activity, becoming one of construction and embellishment, layering and fragmentation. Taaffe celebrates the idyllic and the sensuous, the exotic, and the ever-changing composite as nature itself is revealed as a new order of experience.

Recent museum exhibitions of Philip Taaffe's work include the Wiener Secession, Vienna; "The Birth of the Cool" at the Kunsthaus Zürich, and "Theories of the Decorative" at the Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The exhibition continues to January. For additional information or photographic materials please contact Peter Blum or Arthur Solway. The gallery is located at 99 Wooster Street. Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10-6, Saturday 11-6 and Mondays by appointment. Tel: 212-343-0441.