“Exquisite Corpse” is a term for a collaborative art game created by the Surrealists of the early 20th century. Seattle-based artist Redd Walitzki, known for her sensual laser-cut wood portraits, frequently plays the game with her sister and sometimes model. The game provided Walitzki with the basis for her latest series debuting Saturday at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco. “While beginning the series, I discovered a Greek-Roman myth about Chloris, the Goddess of Flowers and Spring. Wandering through the forest, Chloris stumbles upon the lifeless body of a woodland nymph. Saddened by the innocent creature’s fate, Chloris breathes new life into her, transforming the nymph’s body into a flower,” Walitzki says. “This tale was the perfect genesis for the beautiful, yet slightly macabre, pieces I wanted to create, and became the jumping off point for this group of paintings.” Her ornate, darkly romantic subjects have always featured a juxtaposition between beauty and death in a glamorous way. Here, they appear in more natural settings where life, death and decay are recurring themes. As in the game, her series is a progression of images that lead into the next. Throughout, sprouting flora and fauna hint at the next image in a transformation from decay into new life. There seems no true beginning nor end as Walitzki’s beautiful corpses give themselves back to the earth to be reborn.
“Exquisite Corpse” by Redd Walitzki will be on view at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco from October 10th through November 7th.