Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Bowdoin College
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Collections       Exhibitions       Visit       Events       Digital Resources       About       Learn       Join and Give       Shop
Parterre: An Installation by Lauren Fensterstock
October 3, 2008 - January 11, 2009
Halford Gallery
"Intermediate Stages of Bloom, Victoria Regia: or the Great Water Lily of America", 1854 by William Sharp, American, 1803-1875, Chromolithograph, Gift of David P. Becker, 1991.42.4

Parterre is a site-specific installation by Lauren Fensterstock, a young, conceptual artist trained in metals from Portland, Maine. The work has been created in response to works in the permanent collection of the Museum of Art that have been incorporated into the piece.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is an installation suggesting a large garden pond filled with giant Amazonian water lilies called Victoria regia. The starting point for the water lilies is a series of British prints by William Sharp that illustrate these phenomenal flowers that captured the imagination of the British and American public in the nineteenth century. Fensterstock’s sculptural renderings of these water lilies, however, are made out of jet-black paper and sit in a black pool filled not with water but with charcoal. Towards the back of the pond the water lilies disintegrate into paper forms—made using traditional quilling techniques which create the illusion of metal filigree found in decorative arts and jewelry—that lie in the crushed charcoal. In Parterre, Fensterstock elaborately expands upon themes of time, history, and mortality as they relate to both the corporeal and the imagination.

 "Water Lily (detail)" by Lauren Fensterstock, American, 2008, paper, Courtesy of the Artist