Tanya Marcuse’s latest series of photographs, Woven, expands on her long fascination with cycles of growth and decay in the natural world. Currently on view at George Eastman Museum, the work features flora and fauna gathered from Marcuse’s immediate surroundings that is composed into arrangements suggestive of the “abstract, large-scale paintings of Jackson Pollock,” states the press release. The images also nod heavily to the color palettes and content of medieval tapestries: feasts, religious symbolism such as serpents, hunts, life and death, and resurrection.
The photographs in the Woven series are each five feet high and ten feet wide. Their compacted array of plant, animal, and mineral minutiae create visually rich compositions.
To begin each image, Marcuse collects and arranges items on a custom-built structure designed specifically to create these photographs. Her process is painstaking. In the time it takes to make each photograph, the set becomes a kind of garden or living diorama, changing color and form. “The final works provide generous opportunities for up-close visual discovery, while from a distance they emit a powerful, immersive presence,” states George Eastman Museum.
“At once bold and delicate, fantastical and believable, these photographs invite the viewer to ponder life and death as intricately interwoven phenomena.”