The Four Seasons
Monumental sculptures by artist Philip Haas visit the Garden this summer as reigning monarchs of the Great Lawn. Enjoy studying the intricate details of these compositions while marveling at the creative and surprising juxtaposition of recognizable plants employed in unexpected relationships.
Each gigantic bust, towering at more than 15 feet, is a whimsical embodiment of spring, summer, autumn and winter. The three-dimensional sculptures, made of painted fiberglass, feature oversized twigs, fruits, vegetables, leaves, and other natural elements indicative of their respective months of origin.
About the Exhibition
Beneath the sculptures, featured in an exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden last summer, a temporary garden planting forms a living carpet from which the sculptures emerge. The exuberant flowers add a living element to Haas’ intricate artistic vision. Art history aficionados may recognize the references to Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s 16th century paintings combining portraiture and still life painting to achieve surreal effects. The Italian Renaissance artist personified the art and science of horticulture in his incredible assemblages, and Haas’ sculptures up the ante in their bold scale, textures, and relationship with the Garden’s spaces.
“His imaginative sculptures are beautifully detailed and celebrate the human form and treasures of the plant world in a way I’ve never seen before,” Garden President and CEO Mary Pat Matheson said of Haas, an internationally known screenwriter, filmmaker, and artist known for his Academy Award-nominated 1995 film Angels and Insects. “We are honored to have his work grace our Garden and to, once again, introduce Atlanta to one of the most fascinating artists.”
About the Artist
Philip Haas is an American artist and filmmaker. He’s presented solo exhibitions at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery. Additionally, he has exhibited sculpture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Piazza del Duomo in Milan, and the Gardens of Versailles in France. His paintings, sculptures, and films have been featured in installations in New York at the Sonnabend Gallery and Francis Naumann Fine Art.
Haas is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught in the visual arts and creative writing programs at Princeton University. He lives and works in New York and London.