A “dicotyledon” is a flowering plant that has two embryonic seed leaves and flowers in pairs. Renate Aller’s book, dicotyledon, 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.”
The book created for this 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. Dicotyledon was her first book with Radius books. followed by Oceanscapes and Ocean | Desert. Pieces from that series and other site specific art works are in the collections of corporate institutions, private collectors and museums, including Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; New Britain Museum of American Art, CT; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany; Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI; and Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY.
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.