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ON NOW The cycli­cal na­ture of life and art, from cre­ation to degra­da­tion, finds in­tri­cate and un­ex­pected ex­pres­sion in Van­i­tas, artist Pene­lope Stewart’s site-spe­cific in­stal­la­tion at the Kof­fler Gallery (page 43). Tak­ing its name from the Latin word orig­i­nally used to de­scribe the tran­sient na­ture of earthly goods—in art, it typ­i­cally refers to still-life works—Stewart’s show sees her cov­er­ing the gallery space in high-re­lief tiles, flo­ral forms, vines and “house­hold de­tri­tus,” all made from beeswax. Evoca­tive of an­cient ru­ins while also al­lud­ing to the mod­ernist ar­chi­tec­ture of Le Cor­bus­ier , the im­mer­sive en­vi­ron­ment con­tem­plates “the fragility of our utopian as­pi­ra­tions of trans­form­ing na­ture through cul­ture.”

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