Flora arranged in bursting, radiant
amalgams take the fore in Stephen Eichhorn
collages. This fall, in his first solo exhibition at CES Contemporary
Eichhorn presents 10 new works featuring found photographs of plants that he
sources from magazines and books and appends to panels painted in bright
acrylics. “My background is in drawing and sculpture, but I found this material
and it kind of fulfilled the same things in terms of layering and mark-making,”
the artist has said
“They have a structure to them on a formal level, so I wasn’t ever thinking
about them first as plants.” Eichhorn’s 2012 collage, Succulent
, features succulents and cactuses of several
varieties and their showy floral blooms against a spearmint green background.
The plants emerge from the center of the picture plane, radiating outward. Spots
of purple, orange, and yellow leaves or petals enter as painterly gestures as
the small segments of each plant can be seen as discrete marks.
Eulogy (Pink Fade) (2013)
clusters cactuses and red, pink, and orange wildflowers. The background waxes
slowly from pale pink at the top to white at the bottom. The expressive title
gives the bouquet a pensive, memorial quality, despite its effulgence.
Similarly, Trance (Yellow Fade) (2012),
depicts succulents and flowering branches as they sweep gracefully across the
picture plane over a yellow-to-white ombré background.
The artist’s Holy
Mountain (Orange) (2012), shows spiky saguaro cactuses over a
vivid orange base. The title acknowledges the psychedelic qualities of his work
by alluding to the 1973 film Holy Mountain, by
director Alejandro Jodorowsky, and the 1992 album by the trippy rock band
Sleep, also titled after the movie. Loading his works with carefully placed
information and imagery, Eichhorn develops the qualities we typically associate
with still lifes, importing them into the medium of collage in unexpected ways.
on view at CES Contemporary through October 26, 2014.