Karma in New York reopens its gallery with
(Nothing But) Flowers, a collection of still lifes.
Scrolling through the exhibit online, I’m
desperate for outsize tulips, Nasturtium in a
Green Glass, the offhand intimacy of lilacs in
water. I settle for ordering the catalogue and
make do with whatever’s local.
To paint a flower: contained or set loose,
interior or no interior, a flattening or a
spectacle? The idea of improvisation as a kind of
conscientious reminder of how fragile everything is,
how unstable and unknowable.
When the catalogue arrives, I make a daily
thing of flipping to a random page and
observing what’s there: sill, table, mirror,
bevelled glass, dotted red and pink pitcher,
marble figure, linen napkin folded and placed
under a mason jar, knife with a wood handle,
beetroot, big potted palms, stones, shadows,
A petal drops from the real. A hand flings ...