A “dicotyledon” is a flowering plant that has two embryonic seed leaves and flowers in pairs. dicotyledon—a new body of work by Renate Aller just published by Radius Books—is not a selection of flower pictures, but it does include several pairs: diptychs that contrast urban and rural, or human and environment. David Anfam writes in the essay in the book: “Aller orchestrates a strange colloquy in which the participants congregate but do not converse. Ancient roots oppose empty blue sky; a bird of prey hovers, ambiguously, above a nest; a dreamer lies beside a dark wood; and a child turns his back on a twilit landscape, confronting us.” Aller’s work, which takes inspiration from Romanticism’s relationship with the natural world, brings to the foreground issues of proximity, distance, perspective, and affect. As Mark Jenkins of The Washington Post writes, “Aller captures shimmering, gem-like moments, offering multiple views with her sense of perfect timing.”
This book created for this new body of work is a new kind of project from Radius. The entire edition is only 250 copies, and each one has been hand made, signed and numbered by the artist.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in Germany, Renate Aller lives and works in New York City. Her work is in the collection of corporate institutions, private collectors and museums, including Chazen Museum of Art – University of Wisconsin; The Yale University; The George Eastman House, International Museum for Photography and Film, Rochester, New York; The New Britain Museum of American Art, CT; The New Mexico Museum of Art; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany; and the Lannan Foundation, NM; among others.
ABOUT THE WRITER
David Anfam’s many publications include Mark Rothko: The Works on Canvas—A Catalogue Raisonné (1998), Willem de Kooning: Garden in Delft (2004), No Limits, Just Edges: Jackson Pollock—Paintings on Paper (2005) and Anish Kapoor (2009). In 2003 Anfam was the Henry Luce Visiting Professor in American Art, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University. Anfam has also curated Bill Viola’s Ocean Without a Shore for the 52nd Venice Biennale. His awards include the Mitchell Prize for the History of Art (2000) and the Umhoeffer Prize for Achievement in Humanities (2009). Anfam is currently Commissioning Editor for Fine Art at Phaidon Press and Adjunct Curator, Clyfford Still Museum, Denver.