About The Artist
Native New Yorker, Gayle Saunders is an artist by nature. Her previous work - exhibited worldwide and included in several important museum collections, including the BMFA in Boston, the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin, the Yale University Art Gallery, and in NYC, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian and Museum of Art and Design (MAD) - has earned her numerous awards and grants, including a New York Foundation for the Arts grant (NYFA) and two National Endowment for the Arts grants (NEA). Her latest works, photo-based floral series are an exciting departure in a new direction for the artist.
"My working process has not changed all that much. Whether fusing gold or fusing wax, working with hammers and steel, or capturing the movement of light and shadows in my studio…my art has always been a practice, requiring that I remain entirely focused. Everything is always changing, life is movement and to capture a moment and make it into art, one needs to be completely present in that moment" - Gayle Saunders
About The Works
Gayle Saunders plays with refracted light and shadow as it dances with flowers in her studio. With unwavering focus, she balances intuition and intellect, composition and chance, and is able to apprehend a moment. The invisible becomes visible.
The artist continues her deep meditation on the beauty and meaning of flowers by honing in on the colors, textures, and forms within a bouquet. She immerses herself in these images, moving closer to complete abstraction, feeling the language of flowers. More than one in four of all flowering plants are under threat of extinction, along with many other species of life on this planet, all due to the ongoing destruction of much of the natural world by human activity.
In a world of rushing by at hyperspeed, Saunders’ art demands that we pause to contemplate the wondrous and fragile universal garden that we are all a part of.
Saunders creates large diptychs and triptychs. She prints on thin Japanese Kozo and infuses it with encaustic wax*, rendering the paper translucent and creating artworks that are translucent, luminous light gatherers – vehicles of ephemera. The beeswax gives a physicality to these works that connects them to the garden. The shifting light of day causes one’s perception of the image to change, making the art conditional to its surroundings.
Other images are printed on archival fine art papers, exploiting the deep, rich, immersive colors as only a heavyweight fine art paper can do.
An excerpt from "The Tale of Two Gardens", a poem by Octavia Paz:
"A garden is not a place:
it is a passage,
We don’t know where we are going,
to pass through is enough,
to pass through is to remain."
*Beeswax and damar resin.The word encaustic originates from the Greek word enkaustikos which means to burn in.
The oldest surviving encaustic panel paintings are the Romano-Egyptian Fayum mummy portraits from the 1st Century BC.