Botanical: Observing Beauty
Filipa Ramos, Emanuele Coccia, Alice Thomine-Berrada, Estelle Zhong Mengual
Chaumet Paris & JBE Books, 2022
This handsome volume invites readers on an intimate stroll through centuries of jewelry, botany, drawing, prints, video-game imagery and scientific illustrations, offering a primer on the beauty and ingenuity of nature as reflected in art. Five contributions punctuate the visually structured journey, including a previously unpublished leporello by the late artist Etal Adnan that pulls out into a six-page gatefold. Indeed, this book-as-object is a masterpiece in and of itself, featuring a cover infused with fluorescent and silver inks and titled with a serigraph, in addition to eight pages of sumptuous endpapers printed in deep forest green.
A coterie of international thinkers guide Botanical’s ambitious scope and aim: Emanuele Coccia, Italian philosopher and author of The Life of Plants: A Metaphysics of Mixture (2018); Estelle Zhong Mengual, French art historian; Filipa Ramos, Portuguese curator and author of the upcoming book The Artist as Ecologist (2023). Through their rigorous and engaging essays, they unravel the mysterious inner workings of nature and celebrate the visionary mimetic art born from culture.
Artists and designers include: Noyubushi Araki, Emile Gallé, Joan Fontcuberta, Christian Dior, Claude Monet, Sarah Bernhardt, Eugène Delacroix, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Anna Atkins, Gustave Courbet, Henri Cartier-Bresson, René Lalique, Georgia O’Keeffe, Otto Dix, Robert Mapplethorpe and Yves Saint-Laurent.