Highlights from Lucy Kalian: Almost Botanical

By Caroline Browne on May 20, 2021

Written by Caroline Browne

Currently on exhibit at The Copley Society of Art is a solo exhibition by Artist Member, Lucy Kalian. “Almost Botanical” is a body of work created to share the experience of fleeting moments in time and in nature. This show is an homage to natures bursting flora as the winter months wane, revealing the delicate intricacies of petals, leaves, seed pods, and trees. In nature, Lucy regards the explosive spring flora as riveting, evocative, and poignant.

Unapologetically representational in her art, Lucy has developed a unique, clever, and aesthetically pleasing style of art-making that satisfies the senses but also engages the viewer intellectually and emotionally. Her works openly exude her love for nature and capture its beauty.

In this week’s blog, Co|So highlights five of Lucy Kalian’s outstanding paintings and drawings from her solo show.

Pictured: Lucy Kalian, Asclepias syriaca (Milkweed): October 19th, oil on wood, 37×49”

Lucy Kalian renders the autumnal milkweed dispersing its fluffy, floating parachute seeds into the wind. For the artist, nature is not static and transformation is constant. She captures the movement of these seeds with silken sails, creating a sense of tranquility while exploring nature’s innate processes in the changing of seasons.

Pictured: Lucy Kalian, Honey Locust: October 9th, oil on wood, 32×41.5”

In this work, Lucy presents a captivating visual of falling, spiraling honey locust pods in their unique and curly form. The twisting seed pods appear to be dancing together in an elegant choreography. Using her oil paints, the artist creates a wonderful color interplay of deep maroons, warm browns, and sunny golds against a shale background.

Pictured: Lucy Kalian, To Have and To Hold, graphite on paper, 54×42”

Lucy Kalian’s carefully textured and masterfully rendered solitude tree speaks to her mastery of the medium and familiarity with nature. Her majestic graphite trees overwhelm with their towering sizes and ethereal beauty. The woodland subjects are noticeably bare – the trees hold no leaves, and every figure is surrounded by a vast stretch of white, negative space – emphasizing the details, personalities, and the solitude of each figure.

Pictured: Lucy Kalian, Magnolia Petals: April 8th I and II, oil on wood, 49×13”

Lucy Kalian captures rhythmic precision with her remarkable composition of wind-swept magnolia blossoms.⁠ Her panels of these floating petals can be hung together as a diptych or displayed separately. Soft and subtle in color yet strong in appearance, these beloved blooms signify the start of the spring season.

Pictured: Lucy Kalian, Fibonacci I, graphite on paper, 21×17”

With her trees, pinecones, and acorns standing alone against a white background, Lucy Kalian’s graphite drawings are striking observations on how humans impact the natural world. But rather than depicting bleak images of changing ecosystems, Kalian’s drawings are a testament to nature’s strength and majesty. Each drawing is a glorification of natural figures and their ever-lasting perseverance.

Lucy Kalian: Almost Botanical continues through Sunday, June 6, 2021 and is available to view online and in person during gallery hours at 158 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116. Stop by Co|So on Friday, May 28th for an artist demonstration by Lucy Kalian.


Banner Images (left to right):

Lucy Kalian, Star Magnolia Virginiana, oil on wood, 48×12”

Lucy Kalian, Gracefully, graphite on paper, 27.5×22.5”

Lucy Kalian, Couples’ Dance: April 30th, oil on wood, 25×13”