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Corydalis Lutea by Sarah Horowitz

  • Title: Corydalis Lutea
  • Artist: Sarah Horowitz
  • Medium: White ink on black gampi paper
  • Size: 21" h x 16" w
  • Creation date: 2013
  • Added to collection: 2014
  • Donor: Purchased by Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B7/1 TLC entry

This delicate botanical study by Sarah Horowitz celebrates the joys of slow looking, slow drawing, and high risk.  With the extremely unforgiving medium of metal reed pen dipped in white ink on black Gampi paper (a very smooth, very thin Japanese paper made from tree bark) Horowitz’s choice of materials is truly perverse— one mistake, one blot, or one tear of the metal nib and it is all over!  The choice of materials creates an object of extreme delicacy— both the thready, translucent ink and the tissue-thin paper suggest fragility, inseparable from the subject.  Combine the humility of slow scrutiny and the challenge to convey this with a line of relaxed, free vitality (confident but not fussy, lively but accurate) and you may begin to appreciate what a nervy performance is embedded in such a seemingly modest drawing.  Horowitz' subject is a specimen of Corydalis lutea (rock fumewort or yellow corydalis) a short-lived perennial plant in the poppy family, native to the foothills of the south-western and central Swiss and Italian Alps.  Its elegant forms, like this drawing itself, are fragile and noble.