Exhibitions

Flora Fauna

December 8, 2022 – April 16, 2023

Susan Manchester, California Cóndor-Left Wing, 2021, graphite and conte on paper, 37.5 X 41.5 in.

Flora Fauna presents a visual celebration of the natural world centered around the work of two California representational artists, Elizabeth Barlow and Susan Manchester. Set in conversation with flora and fauna inspired works from the Monterey Museum of Art’s permanent collection and select loans from the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, the exhibition examines how representations of the plant and animal kingdoms have evolved over the last three centuries. Although the natural world has played muse to artists throughout history, Flora Fauna looks beyond frivolity to suggest a more reciprocal and imperative dynamic to the relationship – the effects of climate change and the resulting vulnerability of our region’s own unique and treasured ecosystems. Beneath the surface of their near perfect semblances of beauty, Elizabeth Barlow and Susan Manchester share a reverence and concern for the natural world that sustains their work and artistry. 

 

Elizabeth Barlow, Glory, oil on linen, 24 x 36 in.

About the Artists

Elizabeth Barlow is motivated by the beauty of her surroundings. The artist describes her move to Monterey in 2016, as an “awakening,” fueled by a dedicated meditation practice and the awe-inspiring natural world around her — catalysts for her larger-than-life flower paintings. Elizabeth Barlow is represented by Andra Norris Gallery in Burlingame, CA. Her work is held in public and corporate collections including The Absinthe Group, San Francisco, CA; the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; San Francisco Opera, San Francisco, CA; and the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Monterey, CA. She gains inspiration from artists Georgia O’Keeffe, Martha Alf, Johannes Vermeer, and Chilean artist Claudio Bravo, but her late father artist Philip Barlow remains her most revered teacher and principal artistic influence.

Susan Manchester
first became involved in the natural world while working as artist-at-large in Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove. As a young art student, she first gravitated toward printmaking, particularly etching. Susan Manchester’s work has appeared in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions throughout the United States. In 2009 she was the featured artist of Monterey Now: Susan Manchester, at the Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, and in 2016 a major solo exhibition, Susan Manchester: A Contemporary Lineage, was installed at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, California. Her work is held in private, corporate, and public collections, including Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley; Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose; the Achenbach Foundation of Graphic Arts; and Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She is represented by Andra Norris Gallery in Burlingame, CA.