VANISHING

ARTIST

Emma Steinkraus

Emma Steinkraus is an artist and Assistant Professor of Fine Art at Hampden-Sydney College. Her paintings and installations use strategies of juxtaposition and layering to explore ecology, gender, and the history of science. Her current project, Impossible Garden, spotlights the contributions of pre-20th century women to scientific art through an immersive wallpaper collaged from reproductions of their work. Steinkraus’s work has been exhibited at 21C, the Susquehanna Museum of Art, Williams College Museum of Art. She has been awarded artist residencies at MASS MoCA, the Wassaic Project, and the Blue Mountain Center, amongst others.

COUNTRY

United States

PROJECT

Menagerie

The paintings and wallpaper in Menagerie celebrate non-human nature and our capacity for connection with other species, while mourning ongoing ecological destruction. Many of the pieces in this series depict threatened animals, like the pangolin, which is the most trafficked animal in the world. This work also explores the history of scientific illustration. The wallpaper is constructed from public domain images of flora and fauna painted by women between the 16th and 19th centuries. The wallpaper is constructed from and reanimates a vanished world, with the hope that by looking at the past through fresh eyes, we might better protect the ecological world we have inherited.

MEDIUM

Acrylic on paper

Painting: Pangolin Baby, 22 x 30 inches
Wallpaper installation: Impossible Garden, constructed from work by 131 female artist-naturalists who worked before 1900

Pangolin Baby (detail)

Steinkraus - Vanishing

Painting: Pallas’s Cat, 22 x 30 inches
Wallpaper installation: Impossible Garden, constructed from work by 131 female artist-naturalists who worked before 1900

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