I picture the garden: unruly, wild; lush with rot and overabundance. The uneaten fruit of the tree lies decaying on the ground and floats down streams. I try to create photographs perched between decay and new life, randomness and order, flatness and depth, the natural and the fantastical.
I collect the fruit from beneath trees in nearby orchards, freezing them to preserve the spectacle of their decay. I frequently work on a single photograph for days, or weeks, building up collected plant material, weaving together dead leaves and spring blossoms, adding insects and small creatures to create a tapestry-like density, presenting symbolic patterns of growth and decay in a natural (or perhaps unnatural) landscape.
Tanya Marcuse’s (Barrytown, NY) received her BA in Art History and Studio Art from Oberlin College, and her MFA in Photography from the Yale University School of Art. Marcuse has taught at both Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Vassar College and Bard College. Her photographs are held in numerous museum collections including the Corcoran Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Yale Art Gallery; the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale; and the Library of Congress. She has published three books with Nazraeli Press: Wax Bodies (2011), Fruitless (2007), and Undergarments and Armor (2005), and has had her work featured in many publications, including Cabinet.
Marcuse’s works has been included in numerous exhibitions including solo shows at Julie Saul Gallery in New York City and at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in New Paltz, NY. Her work was featured in Flora at Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, VT, A Discourse on Plants at RH Gallery in New York City, and Heroines at the Thyssen-Bornesisza Museum in Madrid (curated by Guillermo Solana). In 2003 Marcuse received a Guggenheim Fellowship to pursue her project Undergarments and Armor. She has also received the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, the George Sakier Memorial Prize for Excellence in Photography (Yale), and a John Anson Kittredge Award (Harvard).
Tanya received CPW’s Fellowship in 2006 and was selected by Sharon Bates, founder & director of the Albany International Airport Arts Program. She also received it in 1998. To view her fellowship portfolio, click here.