Penelope Gottlieb and Her Portraits of Extinction

One of the living painters I admire the most is Santa Barbara-based Penelope Gottlieb. She is half conceptual artist and half prolific draftsperson and painter. After spending time with her a decade ago, we completely lost touch and then we synchronistically ran into each other at The Hammer recently. I took the opportunity through our reconnect to interview her for my magazine Newtopia’s one year anniversary issue that launched this week.

Her portraits of extinct species of botanicals are what always enthralled me about her work. She discovered a world of forgotten plants and flowers while reading through old botanical records and painstakingly imagined their every part and petal and reconstituted them onto canvas, breathing lives into them once again and presenting a visual record of something that is no longer. For more on these, please enjoy the article. I find the paintings stunning and the meaning behind them seriously profound and touching.

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