Herman De Vries

from earth : suhl, 1992, Earth rubbed on paper, 1 3/4 x 8 1/4 in.

(without title), 1992, Rushes on paper, 11 3/4 x 8 1/4 in.

Press Release

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  • Herman De Vries

Susan Inglett is pleased to present an installation, works on paper and artist's books by herman de vries from 19 February to 28 March 1998. The exhibition will feature a floor piece seen earlier this year at the Munster Sculpture Project.

The relationship of nature and culture has become an area ripe for examination in the wake of recent discoveries in biotechnology and heightened concerns for the environment. A number of artists have responded with interests and approaches as diverse as those of Laura Stein, Alyson Shotz, Mark Dion and herman de vries. Trained as a botanist, herman de vries turned to art in the early Fifties. Responding to the philosophical texts of Zen Buddhism and the Hindu verses of the Upanishads, de vries produced an abstract, minimal work which became identified with the "Zero" artists Yves Klein and Piero Manzoni.

In the late Sixties, de vries' art and life changed dramatically. Leaving his position at the Institute of Applied Biology, he began to travel. Settling in the isolated village of Eschenau in the Bavarian Steigerwald he found not only a new home but a new art. Bringing his lifelong passion for nature to his art, de vries began a body of work which would carry him through the last thirty years. Echoing Ludwig Wittgenstein, a fellow scientist and philosopher, de vries notes "It's of course very interesting to see how science analyzes the way certain processes are happening and functioning, but it can't explain the wonder of it." In an attempt to convey the beauty and complexity of nature, de vries turns away from what he considers a simplistic interpretation. Instead the artist offers us nature itself, isolating a single leaf, a collection of rose branches, pigments of earth on paper, an aromatic bed of lavender flowers.

Herman De Vries asks us to look anew and to appreciate the wonder.

The exhibition will be on view at the gallery located 100 Wooster Street/2 floor Tuesday to Saturday 11 AM to 6 PM. For additional information please contact Susan Inglett at 212/343-0573 and fax 212/343-0574.