ABOUT THE BOOK
This triptych traces the arc of Tanya Marcuse’s work from the iconic trees of Fruitless to the lush, allegorical compositions of Fallen and Woven. Fueled by the Biblical narrative of the fall from Eden, these related projects use increasingly fantastical imagery to explore cycles of growth and decay and the dynamic tension between the passage of time and the photographic medium.
Volume 1, Fruitless (2005-10), features serial photographs, both clinical and sublime in their formal simplicity, of fruit trees near Marcuse’s home in the Hudson Valley. Repeatedly photographing particular trees from the same vantage point, Marcuse catalogues their seasonal transformations. The fallen apples become more prominent as the work progresses, anticipating the still-life aspect of later projects.
In Volume 2, Fallen (2010-15), Marcuse shifts from a found to a composed world, imagining the landscape of ruin in Eden after the exile of Adam and Eve. Using fruit collected from beneath the trees of Fruitless, and freezing them to preserve the spectacle of their decay, Marcuse depicts an ordered paradise becoming wild and untended, a mixture of rot and growth where malevolent as well as beautiful creatures abound.
Volume 3, Woven (2015-), takes Fallen’s dense arrangements of flora and fauna to a newly immersive scale with 5 x 10 foot tableaux that converse with medieval millefleur tapestries and the allover canvases of Jackson Pollock in their interweaving of wildness and order, beauty and terror. These exquisitely detailed photographs, each the product of weeks of collection and composition, are perched between the plausible and implausible, evoking a Boschian world of allegory and fable.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Tanya Marcuse received her BA in Art History and Studio Art from Oberlin College, and her MFA in Photography from the Yale University School of Art. Her photographs are in numerous museum collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Art; the George Eastman Museum; the Yale Art Gallery; the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library; and the Library of Congress. Marcuse has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and has published three books with Nazraeli Press: Wax Bodies (2011), Fruitless (2007), and Undergarments and Armor (2005). Her work has been featured and reviewed in numerous publications, including New York Magazine, The New Yorker, Artforum, Artnews, The LA Review of Books, and The New York Times. Her work is represented by the Julie Saul Gallery in New York City, and she teaches photography at Bard College.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Francine Prose is the author of sixteen books of fiction. Her novel A Changed Man won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. A former president of PEN American Center, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Francine Prose lives in New York City.