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The de la Cruz Collection is pleased to announce a new exhibition by artist Karen Rifas.

"ABANDONED" the title of the exhibition makes reference to our disappearing forests and the constant irreversible damage to our ecological system. This installation serves as a laboratory, archive, and storage facility for millions of leaves that the artist has gathered and stored in large containers. For the next 4 months viewers will participate and activate the site-specific installation by classifying and cataloging these specimens of our expansive native forests which are in danger of becoming extinct. Rifas has also condensed, color-coded and classified some of the leaves into discs for future reference.

This installation references our twenty-first century need to sustain, organize and classify, be it our DNA, print material or even our art artifacts. There is an obvious interdisciplinary consciousness in the art world to discuss environmental issues and this installation touches on many of these concerns. The participatory exhibition becomes an audience collaborative as visitors effect the preservation and classification of those subsequent protectors of beauty.

Karen Rifas was born in Chicago, Illinois and lives and works in Miami. She is a professor at New World School of the Arts. Many of her installations are site-specific, geometric in configuration and are made of stitched leaves, cord or steel cable. Concurrent with this new work are intricate compositions made with found objects. "ABANDONED" revisits ideas of found objects, which become sculptures that resemble laboratory equipment and are intentionally arranged by the artist on glass shelves.

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