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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Group exhibition opens at Guilford Art Center Friday

Guilford Art Center
411 Church St., Guilford, (203) 453-5947
Seduced: the Relevance of Landscape in the 21st Century
Mar. 13—May 8, 2008
Opening reception, Fri., Mar. 13, 5—7 p.m.

Press release

Guilford Art Center will present a group exhibition showcasing contemporary artistic explorations of the landscape. Seduced: the Relevance of Landscape in the 21st Century will take place in the Center's Mill Gallery. The exhibition is inspired by environmental experts' warnings about the current ecological crisis and how society deals with the decline of our natural environment. In response to these warnings, contemporary artists are transforming or overturning traditional depictions of the landscape to reflect the realities of climatic fragility.

Seduced will include landscape works in a variety of media and will encourage viewers to consider many aspects of the genre, including the art historical legacy of landscape, the power of nature, land use politics, and the relativity of aesthetic beauty. The works in the show can be immensely beautiful, but they also represent appalling environmental conditions, therefore expressing the aesthetics of the environment's decline. According to guest curator Samantha Pinckney, "These works seduce viewers with the aesthetic beauty of the landscape and then subtly engage them in contemplating its survival. The exhibition's intent is to expand the viewer's concept of landscape and explore the relevance of the genre in the current context of irrevocable environmental change."

Featured Artists

Diane Burko's on-going series of paintings "Politics of Snow" documents the rapidity of change in natural icons such as the Matterhorn, as well as the shrinking glaciers in America and Iceland, in a series of diptychs of historical visual comparisons that contrast past and present glacial activity. (Web).

Leila Daw's tapestry-like unstretched canvases offer a glimpse into the potential of our experiences, showing a bird's-eye view of the devastating power of nature. Daw allows viewers to simultaneously see the landscape on both a micro- and macroscopic level, blending recognizable elements with abstracted ones - a river overtaking a mapped terrain or a volcano's molten lava eradicating a civilization below.

Karen Glaser's photographs taken in Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve represent a geographical location that is both seductive and sickening. In Florida, unique and breathtaking ecosystems live alongside unceasing development. Glaser documents these ecosystems' allure and mystery and considers the complicated puzzle of their continued existence, one that is increasingly vulnerable to urban sprawl.

Joseph Saccio's sculptures use natural materials (primarily reclaimed wood) joined together in a primitivistic manner, to express personal feelings associated with myth, ritual, loss and rebirth. Saccio's works are often brutal in form and meaning but occasionally suggest the possibility of renewal in the midst of devastation.

Larry Schwarm's photographs taken on the prairies of the Flint Hills in his native Kansas document an essential element in the prairie ecosystem: agricultural burns. Fire benefits the land by destroying invasive plants and trees and encouraging new growth. The metaphor is obvious says the artist, "without destruction there is no rebirth: for every act there is an opposing one." Schwarm's work presents a more optimistic view of our current ecological situation in its representation of the beauty and potential in destruction.

Joseph Smolinski's work explores our need to mask landscape interventions - for example, cell phone towers disguised as trees. Smolinski's "Tree Turbines" mimic the camouflaging of cell phone towers, with rotating trunks converting the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity. These works provide an ironic solution to the controversy over wind turbines which, despite their growing importance as clean energy resources, have been protested by environmentalists for aesthetic reasons.

Joy Wulke's sculptures are inspired by the ever-changing natural landscape with concern for its ecological health. In some works Wulke encases natural forms, evoking the increasing delicacy of the world around us and the need for stewardship, so we may continue to enjoy nature's wonders into the future, not just "underglass."

The opening reception for Seduced is Fri., Mar. 13, 5—7 p.m. The opening is free and open to the public.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Maureen Belden said...

Thanks for listing. Would you like to visit and write a review?

1:30 PM

 

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