Finding Yggdrassil: Portraits of Trees by Anders Knutsson
Brooklyn Artist Inspires Stewardship of Nature with Solo Exhibition
Release Date: September 19, 2011Recalling Yggdrassil ('ig-dra-sil), the iconic ash tree of Scandinavian mythology, artist Anders Knutsson pays tribute to trees’ connection to the human and spirit worlds with his portraits of exceptional trees. Knutsson’s work is showcased in a solo exhibition at Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery from Wednesday, September 21, through Sunday, November 27. An artist’s reception will be held on Saturday, September 24, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Though Knutsson’s portraits are from all around the world, he started his series at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG), which he began visiting when he moved his studio to Brooklyn. He was particularly inspired by several of the Garden’s most stately specimens, including the Caucasian wingnut (Pterocarya fraxinifolia) and Lavalle corktree (Phellodendron lavallei). In creating individual, expressive images of these magnificent living plants, Anders aims to draw attention to the need for stewardship of nature: “The tree as a topic, as inspiration and meaning, is very potent to me. It symbolizes ourselves, our future, our climate.”
In addition to his BBG trees and ones discovered on travels in Florida and California, Knutsson found subjects as farflung as Argentina and Senegal. Though Knutsson gained early notoriety as a painter of monochromes, his finely detailed tree portraits are primarily made with pencil on paper and single-color acrylic on linen. The exhibition includes works executed between 1992 and the present.
About the Artist
Anders Knutsson was born in Malmö, Sweden, and came to the U.S. in 1967. Educated as an engineer, he has studied and developed his art throughout his life. He has lived in New York City since 1976 and currently works and lives in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn with his wife, Doris Schultz.
On Saturday, September 24, from 1 to 2 p.m, Knutsson’s tree portraits will serve as a starting point for a family workshop in the Steinhardt Conservatory. Author, storyteller, and TreeFriends founder Jane Hughes Gignoux will use story, art, improvisation, and conversation to teach about the biology, ecology, and environmental stewardship of trees.
Upcoming in the Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery
Terrarium: Works by Jae Hi Ahn
Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery
December 3, 2011–February 26, 2012
In Terrarium, an exhibit of sculptural works by artist Jae Hi Ahn, discarded and “seemingly meaningless materials” are given new life in the creation of organic forms. Accompanying the sculptures are her whimsical photos of BBG and terrarium displays designed by BBG’s horticulture staff.
Visions of Nature: Classes at the Garden
Steinhardt Conservatory Gallery
March 3–31, 2012
This annual exhibit features the finest work of adult learners and instructors in BBG’s Continuing Education program. Works display a range of media, including watercolor, pen and ink, photography, and more.
About Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Founded in 1910, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is an independent nonprofit institution committed to education, research, and the display of horticulture. Situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn, the Garden is home to over 12,000 kinds of plants and hosts more than 725,000 visitors annually. Learn more at bbg.org. Brooklyn Botanic Garden is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Garden is closed on Mondays except public holidays. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens (65 and older) and students with ID. Children under 12, all school groups, and Garden members are admitted free at all times. For directions, please visit bbg.org/visit/directions. Learn what’s happening at Brooklyn Botanic Garden at bbg.org/visit/calendar, read the Garden’s blog at bbg.org/news, and see photos of current highlights at bbg.org/bloom. ###