Garvey|Simon is pleased to present Daisy Craddock: Flora at DFN Projects, 16 East 79th Street (garden level). A departure from her recent work, Craddock’s floral still lifes are diaristic portrayals of ease amidst discomfort. Painted from life, with a nod to her plein-air landscape paintings, this is the first time Craddock will be exhibiting this series, which has developed over the last decade.
Craddock’s floral paintings are loci for memory, spanning more than a decade and various dwellings. The earliest painting in the exhibition is from 2010 which stands as a seminal work that evolved within this series. Sharing a kindred spirit with such artists as Jane Freilicher and Lois Dodd, Craddock uses the still life genre to hint at an autobiographical subtext. This collection of intimate paintings encapsulates Craddock’s experience during the pandemic in the Hudson Valley, New York.
Created amid COVID-isolation, Craddock’s still lifes are quiet riots of color and texture, often evoking a journal-like quality with their scale. The blooms, resplendent in their brief prime, mark the passage of time in these tightly composed pieces. In this context, Craddock’s focus on the flowers’ color variations and textures is all-consuming; a welcome escape from the fraught world of that time.
Many of these floral arrangements gracefully share the stage with distant landscapes, inviting viewers to contemplate both inner and outer worlds. The scenes themselves offer an immediate sensory experience, encompassing atmospheric conditions and the play of natural light. Though the feathery quality of Craddock’s brushstrokes recalls her plein-air paintings, these works transcend mere representation and evoke a temporal distance.
The pastoral scenes are reminiscent of the artist’s long history of landscape painting, reaching even further back to a time when she was working in her New York City loft of over 40 years. In the foreground, Craddock’s blossoms are transformed into memento mori, talismen of the ephemerality of life. The linear, geometric windows, placemats, and picture frames of the middle ground stand in formal contrast to the organic shapes within the compositions. Craddock’s windows introduce abstract elements to her paintings and intensify the distance between the viewer and the artist’s past.
Daisy Craddock (b.1949, Memphis, TN) received a BA in Fine Arts from Rhodes College and an MFA in Painting from the University of Georgia. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States. Recent solo shows include In Season at Carol Corey Fine Art, Kent CT, 2022; Harvest at Front Room Gallery, NYC, with Garvey|Simon, 2020; and A View of One’s Own, August 2017 at John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY. An installation of Daisy’s work from the 1980s was on view in the lobby of the Georgia Museum of Art in 2018. Recent group shows include Landscape & Memory, Pamela Salisbury Gallery, Hudson, NY, and Art on Paper, 2019 at the Weatherspoon Art Museum.
Daisy’s work has been reviewed in Hyperallergic, Art in America, The New York Times, Art & Antiques, American Artist, Art News, and Arts Magazine among numerous other publications. An interview with Brainard Carey for Yale Radio can be found in the Praxis radio archives.
Public collections include the Anderson Museum, Newark Museum, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Georgia Museum of Art, Milwaukee Museum of Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Roswell Museum, Rubin Museum of Art, and the Weatherspoon Museum. Daisy is the recipient of a 2022 ICarts – Italy residency in Montecastello di Vibio, a 2002 New York Foundation for the Arts, a New York Arts Recovery Grant, and a 1989 Roswell Artist in Residency. The artist lives and works in the Hudson Valley, New York, and in New York City.