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Jessica Rath's "take me to the apple breeder" opens at Jack Hanley Gallery in New York
Jessica’s sculptures, photographs and installations investigate intimate points at which human intervention has changed the course of the natural world.
NEW YORK, NY.- Jack Hanley Gallery presents selections from take me to the apple breeder, a three-part project steeped in plant genetics. Edible fruits are not born of nature, but are cultural objects carefully preserved through grafting. Isolated from natural selection, their finely-tuned genetics geared to our consumption have created an Achilles’ heel in terms of their own survival.

Resulting from visits to Cornell University’s agricultural research stations, the show reflects both the desire of Cornell’s apple curator Philip Forsline who has traveled the world to rescue fastdisappearing varieties, and the work of Dr. Susan Brown, one of only three apple breeders in the country inventing new apples for mass production.

Rath’s porcelain sculptures allude to the odd forms and luminescent hues of little known and endangered varieties, while large-scale photographic portraits document newly manufactured hybrid trees. These artifacts are designed to investigate diversity at a molecular level and human intervention in the natural world.

Jessica’s sculptures, photographs and installations investigate intimate points at which human intervention has changed the course of the natural world. She questions the naturalist’s, artist’s and scientist’s drive to contain and beget beauty within the landscape, whether in the cultivated ground of agriculture and in our own backyards. Sublime and haunting, the work evokes a kind of grace found within survival and diversity at a molecular level. Recent solo exhibitions include Jack Hanley Gallery, NY; Pasadena Museum of Calfornia Art; Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design; and the Torrance Art Museum. She has received many awards including a Center for Cultural Innovation Investing in Artists grant, Durfee Foundation ARC (Artist Resource for Completion) grants, a Metrolab Commission Grant, and the Bridge Residency Award from Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA.

Jessica was born in Charleston, West Virginia and grew up between Vermont and southern Missouri Ozarks. She received a BA (1990) in Sociology from University of Missouri, MFA (1996) from California Institute for the Arts and studied at School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She works in Los Angeles, where she has resided for 18 years.





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