Brutality Garden is a solo exhibition by Lauren Frances Adams of recent works on paper from the Netherlands and Brazil. The works on display originate from residencies the artist made in Rotterdam and Salvador in 2015 and 2016. Investigating Dutch and Portuguese empire, as evinced in the collections of major museums (like the Mauritshuis in Den Haag and Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, as well as Museu Carlos Costa Pinto in Salvador), these paintings sample from a variety of European golden age painting in the age of colonial exploration. Images from domestic life and nature, such as tile, fruits, and birds, contrasts with the fancy fashion of enslaved Brasiliens and the porcelain of the upper classes. Subjects explored include the desirable pineapple as a colonial vector fruit, azulejos (blue tile) as a theater for dramatic political allegory, and dinnerware ornamentation of the Portuguese bourgeoisie in light of brutal provincial social hierarchies. Many of the artworks reference the cultural tension between historical colonial ambition and contemporary post-colonial reality.
The exhibition is on view from September 6 – October 6, 2016 in the Delaplaine Fine Arts Center at Mount St. Mary’s University.