Natura Naturata

Natura Naturata
Georgia Marsh, 1993
color monotype, 46.4 x 46.8 cm
(18 1/4 x 18 3/8 in.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of David M. Maxfield

Marsh Biography

Georgia Marsh has condensed many nuances into a single image in her Natura Naturata series, in which the almost square format is divided at the center to create a diptych that imposes a conceptual structure onto an elegant image of natural beauty. While the branches of a pitch pine tree unite both halves of the pictorial field, the contrasting treatment of the background in each half calls attention to the artifice of representation, at the same time alluding to the late-nineteenth-century dichotomy of cleanly wiped versus artificially wiped plates. Navigating a fine line between abstraction and representation, Marsh challenges our preconceptions in looking at nature and representing it in art. "I don't think we experience anything without having a code before the experience. . . . Why not look at this idea of abstraction and liven it up a bit? Why not look at this notion of handmade representation in Western culture since nobody likes it much anymore? Why not take another look, rearrange the terms?"

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