29 Apr Abbie Zabar’s new works/T New York Times Style Magazine
“I love humble flower arrangements, I do not like grand flower arrangements. I love drawing simple flowers that are not pompous, that you can pick up at the local bodega, that you do not style, that you just throw into an empty pickle jar, that kind of thing,” admitted Abbie Zabar, whose drawings of said humble flowers are now featured in Bodega Bouquets, an exhibit at Eerdmans, an equally humble but charming gallery in New York City.
Those who are familiar with Ms. Zabar’s work (and yes, she co-founded EAT, a legendary New York City gourmet shop and cafe, with her ex-husband Eli Zabar) may be surprised at what seems like a major pivot from her previous floral obsession: every week for a decade (1995-2005) she drew the grandiose bouquets that greet visitors as they enter the Great Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ms. Zabar is also an accomplished collage artist, whose works have been shown at the Louvre, MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, as well as the author of five books, most notably The Potted Herb, a guide to growing herbal topiaries.
The twenty 9-by-11-inch colored pencil works currently on display depict a range of flora including dahlias, tulips, hyacinths, mums and daffodils, all shown in old jars, inexpensive vases or, in one, a chipped creamer. Asking an avid gardener about a favorite flower or, in this case, a favorite drawing, is akin to asking about a favorite child. No surprise that Ms. Zabar demurred when asked. “No favorites,” she said. “Though I do like the ‘weedy’ looking ones.”
Bodega Bouquets is on view through May 26th at Eerdmans, 14 East 10th Street, 212-920-1393, EerdmansNewYork.com