For the purposes of this assignment, I attended the John B. Davis Gallery to explore the exhibit at the time, entitled the “Undergraduate Art Exhibition and Scholarship Competition.” One of the artists displaying work in this exhibit was Karen Lei and it was her work, titled “Azalea” that stood out to me the most. “Azalea” was done in oil on canvas, a two-dimensional representation of a series of azaleas, flowers that are typically found in nature in stunning color, though these were represented in a black and white medium only. The work was not to scale, with three large flowers and two budding flower taking up the entirety of the canvas. If viewed to scale, the flowers would not have been larger than the palm of my hand, with the budding flowers being even smaller. The piece is representational in nature, detailing the flowers in black and white, though not clear detail. While these specific types of flowers can bloom in white, they are most commonly found in shades of pink and purple. The piece uses the juxtaposition of light and dark to attempt to convey the blossoming life of the plant in comparison to the stable shrub that flowers and is green and ever present. In life, as in the painting, the bush is overlooked until the flowers bloom, creating a riot of color and light to which the eye is drawn.
The work is proportionately correct, done to scale, albeit a great deal larger on canvas than in person, as previously indicated. The focal point of the piece are the three fully formed blooms, stark white and highlighted against the black used to create the bush from which they stem. The work is balanced by the use of light and dark color and the appropriate use of perspective. The color scheme consists of black and white, with some grey for highlighting. The purpose of the piece is to show the beauty in the world, as displayed through flowers on a bush that is otherwise plain.

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