WEB Carmen Almon: Nature in Progress

This is Carmen Almon’s third exhibition in New York. She first showed her work at Howard Slatkin’s apartment in 2005, then at Pierre Durand’s Chinese Porcelain Company exactly two years ago, and now a second time at their new location. 

For this show Carmen Almon goes to the essential, presenting her botanicals as sculptures on bases, allowing us to contemplate the upward thrust of life towards light, rooted in the dark earth. Here we are in front of these botanical tole pieces, that glorify the beauty of Nature in progress.

The beauty starts with what is never shown: the roots. Then brings us to its achievement: a flower, or a fruit. Dark and light. Buried and visible. From these rough roots emerge stems that culminate in flowers of delicate beauty or perhaps a ripe fruit. 

Carmen Almon makes us travel through time, we discover a tomato plant with the same wonder as those 16th century botanists did in South America. Have we ever contemplated an artichoke, an eggplant, a poppy in its singularity and integrity?

There is no hierarchy in her work, she shows us with the same passion garden flowers as well as weeds. Some pieces from this series could very well be moments of “urban botany”, like those plants growing at random from the cracks and corners of our cities. 

Despite the time and effort her sculptures require (that you don’t notice), Carmen Almon’s “tour de force” is to capture an ephemeral moment. 

For beyond the volume itself, the painting is what characterizes her work. Carmen Almon is a painter upon volume, a difficult task, since she tries to evoke a vibrancy… It is the reason why we have a sense of irreality… but it could be true… and ultimately, it doesn’t matter. 

Real or not real. What is true is her interpretation of Nature, both naive and curious, both fragile and strong. 

--Thierry Job