Paul Kasmin Gallery Collaborates With Sotheby’s
Naturalia is the first collaborative exhibition between the Sotheby’s Old Masters Department and the Paul Kasmin Gallery, where it is showing until March 4.
When Albrecht Dürer drew his famous rhinoceros in the 16th century, he’d never even seen one. Yet, this drawing would determine people’s idea of a rhinoceros for another 150 years or so. Juxtaposed next to Walton Ford’s monumental Loss of the Lisbon Rhinoceros, painted in 2008, these are the types of stories that emerge in the Naturalia exhibition.
Naturalia is the first collaborative show between the Sotheby’s Old Masters Department and the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York, where it is showing until March 4. Curated by Danny Moynihan, the show comprises 16th, 17th and 18th century works paired with work by contemporary artists such as Mat Collishaw, Mark Dion, Damien Hirst and Sam Taylor-Johnson.
The contrast between old and new is a revelation. Given our media-saturated contemporary times, without this contrast, it is difficult to conceive of the marvel and curiosity that centuries-old artists experienced when exploring nature in an expanding new world. The sense of fear, admiration, exoticism and paradise all come through in the works.
Turning to the contemporary artists, how our perception of nature has changed is revealed. Damien Hirst‘s Devastation, for instance, is covered with dead flies that evoke both the inevitability and beauty of mortality. Decay and beauty also come through in Mat Collishaw’s The Venal Muse, Fenside, Mark Dion’s Stork and Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Still Life video installation.
Also on show at the Paul Kasmin Gallery is COPLEY: WOMEN, with over 20 paintings by the late artist William N Copley. The exhibition explores Copley’s preoccupation with the opposite sex, given how in the 1950s he defied painterly trends by making personal and narrative works.