Featuring work by Melanie Schiff


Taking up the storied lineage of the natural as one of the foundational subjects of art history, Shrubs conducts dovetailing surveys of contemporary landscape and still life painting, as well as sculpture and photography. The exhibition brings together artists across geographies, generations, and mediums to gesture toward a contemplation of the land in tension and harmony with our current realities. Art and nature are unified by a spirit of persistence; the title Shrubs connotes not only a particular kind of plant, but a certain attitude, with a quotidian yet resilient quality. Shrubs coalesces a breadth of formal and conceptual engagements, speaking to contemporary anxieties while celebrating the enduring human impulse to cultivate through depiction.

Each artist finds the dualities of the present day distilled within the earthly environment—order and chaos, quietude and cacophony, destruction and care, weightiness and levity—while allowing for undeniable beauty to come to the fore. Encompassing abstraction and representation, the works reveal visual and affective traces of the world the artist inhabits within the one they conjure. No singular approach or category of portrayal is privileged, instead presenting a vibrant and diverse array of responses to a world in flux. Altogether, Shrubs conceives of nature as a generous spectrum, embraced for its sublime wonders and precious banalities.

Melanie Schiff, Chamomile 2, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Night Gallery