In 1964, Janet Alling studied among a legendary generation of artists, including Chuck Close, Jennifer Bartlett, Richard Serra, Nancy Graves, Janet Fish, Rackstraw Downs, and Brice Marden. They turned contemporary art making into a revolution of material, scale, subject, and perception. Alling, sensing both her affinity and difference with fellow students, found her subject in flowers. She was eager to investigate their essence and power and redefine a category of painting regarded as decorative and conventional. A glance at this compendium of flower painting from a long career of observation and honed technique, reveals Alling’s vision as anything but conventional. Large-scale leaves and petals shimmering in shadows and light fill these 96 pages with unexpected color and pattern and mysterious beauty. Artist Alex Katz says about her work, “[Her} flowers are decorous, contained, and make no overture to fashion. The mystery of meaning reminds me of Emily Dickinson.” Alling captures the process of painting a natural subject in natural light and in time’s inexorable grasp. The glories of the iris, the tulip, and the coleus are amplified and newly perceived by Alling’s brush. She has achieved what she set out to do nearly 60 years ago: Redefine flower painting as an essential subject for contemporary art This book is the story of a female artist who began working during a period when art was “a man’s world.” In Unanticipated the artworks are organized to draw the reader into Alling’s life narrative and its relation to the unfolding of her attraction to the natural world as a subject for advanced fine art. Her schooling at Yale, as well as travel to the world’s most renowned artistic achievements, along with mentorship by some of the most important male artists of the era, set her on her mission to revolutionize flower painting. The book’s contents feature key works of flower portraits, gardens, and patterns. A final selection includes a catalog raisonne, with images her complete repertoire of paintings and drawings.