Frick Respiration Paintings
In this installation, Adibi works with the innate characteristics of the greenhouse—making use of the natural light, seasonal changes, and elevated humidity to both display and transform her artwork. Though the heat and humidity of the greenhouse portend a most challenging environment for the paintings, Adibi acknowledges the risk, but believes the experience of viewing the paintings in the living environment is worth the uncertain fates of the pieces.
Respiration Paintings comprises 18 paintings installed in the north and south wings of the greenhouse and two paintings in vitrines at The Frick Art Museum. These paintings—abstractions based on the grid, oxidation paintings made with a mixture of urine on copper, and what Adibi calls “plant paintings,” made by pouring pigments mixed with essential plant oils—are installed to create a visual rhythm with plantings that the artist planned in collaboration with the Frick’s grounds manager, Kim Rothert. The plants were selected to resonate with the paintings in terms of scent and color. In spring, tulips bloom in the south wing—to be replaced as the season changes, while the north wing has been conceived as a rose garden. Citrus trees also add both color and scent. Viewing benches and structural stands built to display the paintings have been painted a rosy pink hue, custom mixed by the artist, and scented to create a one‐of‐a‐kind sensory experience.
Repeat visitors will see the plants mature and change through the exhibition. Some of the paintings, particularly the oxidations, may visibly change in response to the humidity through the six‐month course of the show. Respiration Paintings is designed to create an immersive environment of plants, paintings, scents, colors, and images exploring the interconnection and intimate relationship between art, nature and people.