Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

Mechanical Orchid Parts Catalogue
  • Justin Amrhein
    born 1979
    born: Sacramento, California, United States
  • Mechanical Orchid Parts Catalogue, 2015
  • Where object was made: United States
  • screen print, sewn binding
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: closed 20.2 x 15.9 x 0.8 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: closed 7 15/16 x 6 1/4 x 5/16 in
    Object Height/Width/Depth: open 20.2 x 32.4 x 0.8 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: open 7 15/16 x 12 3/4 x 5/16 in
  • Anonymous gift
  • On view: Perkins Central Court, 317, W1
  • 2017.0056
Label Text
Literature
Exhibitions

Exhibition Label:
"Big Botany: Conversations with the Plant World", 27-Mar-2018
Working with both technical engineering and architectural rendering and lettering, Amrhein’s prints propose a hybrid botanical-mechanical achievement that combines artificial photosynthesis and electro-hydraulic methods of growth, seed, and fragrance dispersal. An accompanying artist’s book takes the form of a “parts catalogue” for the 74 parts of the mechanical orchids. Mechanical Orchid Triptych was one of Amrhein’s first “botanicals” and includes three species of orchid, each with the same subsoil engineering and with different flowering attachments: Cypripedium acaule, Vanda coerulea, and Psychopsis papilio.

These works are related to Amrhein’s current series of large-scale drawings of “replacement trees,” which would provide for photosynthesis and the visual presence of trees in a future plantless world.