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The Floral Ghost 

Curated by May Castleberry and Raymond Foye

October 24 ‒ December 12, 2014

This October, Planthouse gallery has invited six artists — Simryn Gill, Florian Meisenberg, Katia Santibañez, Philip Taaffe, Fred Tomaselli, and Anton Würth — along with the writer Susan Orlean, to consider plants and the perpetually changing nature of the city, as seen through the prism of the gallery’s location in New York’s historic Plant District. 

Co-curated by May Castleberry and Raymond Foye in association with Planthouse, The Floral Ghost takes, as a guide, the defining image of the scraped-down, faded layers of botanical prints which papered the walls (and appear on the home- page of the gallery’s website) of the former plant shop before its 2012 renovation and subsequent transformation into a gallery space. The gallery serves as a temporary hub for work that explores the ephemeral nature of commerce, merchandising and urban evolution, much like the delicate nature of the plant itself.

In addition to the work displayed in the space, each artist has also created an original print for this exhibition. The gallery’s cold cellar (once used to preserve plants) will play host to a site-specific installation by Philip Taaffe consisting of never-before exhibited “mechanical-botanical” silkscreened images, which are used a basis for many of his paintings. Additionally, the exhibition will include an original, on-site graphite wall drawing by Katia Santibañez, a large, limited edition photograph by Malaysia-based Simryn Gill, intricate etchings by Anton Würth, gouaches on unique photogram by Fred Tomaselli, a painting from Florian Meisenberg, and an essay penned by Susan Orlean reflecting on a poignant moment when she first visited the lively floral district in its resplendent heyday.

Co-curators May Castleberry and Raymond Foye have had their fingers on New York City’s ever shifting cultural pulse for decades. Castleberry works as the editor of contemporary editions for the Library Council of The Museum of Modern Art and Foye as the publisher for Hanuman Books.

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