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Forget me not: A new series by Anna Borowy on view at janinebeangallery
Installation view of the exhibition.

By: Madeline Bouton

BERLIN.- janinebeangallery presents Vergissmeinnicht or “Forget Me Not”, a new series by Anna Borowy. The series features a collection of young female portraits, signature to the artist’s body of work. With rounded lips and blushing cheeks, Borowy’s girls appear eternally innocent. They are enveloped, quite veritably, by the bloom of their feminine youth: crowned with flowers, kissed by butterflies, and tangled in vines. Yet the double entendre of the series’ title “Forget Me Not” suggests there is something for want in Borowy’s girls. Though they seem as delicate and pure as a forgetmenot flower, the girls’ fierce eyes and defiant postures combat such an association. They command the viewer to remember them, to forget them not. These 21st century “Floras” are as aware of their lascivious presence as they are of their own desires, and it is with this power, not with semblances of virginity, they cast a spell over the viewer. Borowy’s focused precision, fixation with nature, and romantic aesthetic pay homage to Pre Raphaelite motivations often underreferenced in contemporary art. Her use of color is reminiscent of paintings by William Holman Hunt or John Everett Millais, while her rendering of filament-like hair recalls the linework of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In spite of these parallels, Borowy remains current. The young women she paints are physically slight and somewhat unkempt, yet they effuse intense autonomy. And though they are steeped in precious vegetation, potent sexuality, and hints of mythology, Borowy’s portraits are startlingly grounded in this century.

Borowy is originally from Uelzen, Germany, but lives and works in Berlin. In 2003, she moved to Berlin to study Liberal Arts at the University of Arts, Weissensee, and graduated with a Masters in 2010. Her artwork has been shown predominantly in Berlin and around Germany, and is held in several private international collections.

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