Is there a more compelling symbol across art history than the flower? The serene plum blossoms of Chinese woodblock prints, the white lilies and red carnations of Christian altarpieces, the hidden lovers’ messages of early Victorian paintings…. In “Dandelion Song,” Srijon Chowdhury’s second solo show with Foxy Production, flowers are the vessels for narrative, for emotions, for mysticism.
Chowdhury’s painting style ranges widely. Morning Glory with Dewdrops (2021) is so crisply rendered as to appear almost overreal, the downward swoon of its white-blue petals heavy with dew and spread like the sweep of a long skirt. The red-hued Winter Still Life (2021), on the other hand, rendered in a flattened plane with exaggerated angles, seems to almost pulsate, lit by the twin glow of a thin candle and an incandescent rose. Still other works contain a more mystical element: Unicorn Dreaming (2021) is reminiscent of the fallen steed of the Unicorn Tapestries, lying in dark contrast above a meadow replete with bright blooms.
Indeed, each of these intimate paintings is a world unto itself. The expositional title Moth on a Poppy (2021) belies the potency of the painting’s drama: across silken red petals like crushed velvet bedsheets, the flower’s thin-stemmed pistils, each rendered with a single thin stroke, reach upward, yearning for the white-winged moth perched upon a thorn-studded stem—the very image of danger and desire.
Srijon Chowdhury, Morning Tulips, 2021. Oil on linen, 36 x 24 inches. Photography: Charles Benton. Courtesy Srijon Chowdhury and Foxy Production, New York.