Ebony G. Patterson Brings a Crowd to the New York Botanical Garden

Will Heinrich, New York Times, June 15, 2023

I have to admit, I didn’t notice them at first. They blend seamlessly as shadows into the bright red petunias and purple coleus on the lawn of the New York Botanical Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Only when I stooped to read the label for one velvety red blossom — it was a cockscomb, Celosia “Dracula” — did I notice the knee-high, cast-foam black vulture that was sitting watchfully beside it. When I looked up, I realized there were dozens more. The gardens were full of them.


They were installed by the Jamaican-born mixed media artist Ebony G. Patterson for her show, “ … things come to thrive … in the shedding … in the molting.” The culmination of her intermittent but yearslong residency at the Garden and its library, the exhibition also includes work installed across several floors of the Garden’s library — but it’s the vultures that cut the deepest.


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