Students Respond: “Capital Flower (#2)”

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Denise Green
Capital Flower (#2), 2006
Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 14
Gift of Francis X. Claps M.D.

I chose this piece because I was looking for a work that takes on new meaning in our current context. This painting struck me with its quietness and simplicity. It’s just over 1 foot by 1 foot, but it’s also a part of a series of similar paintings with simple, isolated shapes surrounded by color fields. On the artist’s website they are displayed serially in a vertical orientation. There’s an interesting contrast between the geometry of the structure in the center with the organic nature of the thin washes of color and warm orange hue.

It feels like it could be about the state of being alone, but not necessarily loneliness; the colors feel too beautiful and awake to be talking about loneliness. Its more the feeling of being aware of yourself as a singular being, self-contained and independent, but also existing within a larger context. It certainly reminds me a lot of my current state of mind having been spending so much time alone. Of course there are times when I miss the company of others, but it’s kind of wonderful to just stew in yourself for a while, because then you can begin to identify where the world around you ends and where you begin.

-Sylvia Atwood ’22

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