We are pleased to present a selection from Laszlo Layton's series Cabinet of Curiosities and Pictorial Zoology.
His two series of natural history subjects visually borrow from 17th, 18th, and 19th century illuminated science and zoology books. These books were illustrated with artists' engravings, lithographs, and drawings of the specimens. Layton says, "What these illustrations may have lacked in scientific accuracy they more than made up for in artistic expression." The use of photography to document living creatures makes 20th century natural history books much more scientifically accurate, but Layton is inspired by the romantic charm of the earlier representations.
The artist attempts to recapture these old illustrations by using an old photographic process, vintage soft-focus lenses, and hand coloring. Many of the species Layton photographs are extinct, rare, exotic, and unfamiliar. His beautiful hand coloring illuminates the already beautiful subjects and lends an artistic interpretation of a scientific subject.
Layton's work is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the International Wildlife Museum, Tucson, Arizona.
There will be an opening reception with the artist, November 17, 6-8 pm.