Feb 10 – Mar 18, 2016
For additional information, please visit: gppresents.com
GP Presents is a newly established Contemporary curatorial/project-based exhibition program located at Gerald Peters Gallery, New York.
GP Presents and Gerald Peters Gallery are pleased to announce Fault Lines: The Shifting Perspective on Landscape in American Art. Featuring work by 21st century artists Christy Gast, Shane McAdams, Jason Middlebrook, Kristine Moran, and Nick van Woert, in tandem with select works by 19th and 20th century artists, including Albert Bierstadt, John F. Kensett, Harold Weston, and Thomas Hart Benton, Fault Lines will explore the constant – and constantly changing – importance of landscape to the story of American art.
Throughout the history of American art, landscapes – both real and imagined – have been primary to the discipline; the reasons artists have embraced landscape are wide ranging. Nineteenth-century artist-explorers, such as John Mix Stanley or Albert Bierstadt, approached the landscape, on the one hand, from the perspective of recorders. They participated in geological surveys, making on-site studies of mountain, field, and stream. Back in their studios, these same artists played the parallel role of myth-makers, transforming these studies into grandiose and inspiring – often nationalistic and sometimes moralizing – vistas. Further into the nineteenth century, the nation’s growing industrialization encouraged artists and viewers alike to approach landscapes as an antidote to their increasingly urban existences. In the 1880s and 1890s, artists such as John Henry Twachtman viewed their landscape paintings in part as intellectual, aesthetic, and emotional escapes from reality. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries artists have continued to find transcendental meaning in nature. Artists such as Harold Weston experienced spiritual renewal in the meditative process of painting the natural world. Landscape, in its permanence, continued to offer stability in the fast-changing environment of the 20th century.
Today, the notion of landscape is more expansive than it was for the pictorial realists of its history, and more contingent on subjective meaning. Similar to their predecessors, today’s landscape artists use their subject as a vehicle for interpreting reality, taking it apart and putting it back together again in a way that questions its significance and authenticity. The five contemporary artists included in Fault Lines thus connect their work to this history of landscape while also providing new contexts in which to view it and new processes and new media with which to create it.
Christy Gast continues the tradition of the artist-explorer, using a cross-country road trip to create a visual narrative of place and “collaborating with nature” to create her cyanotypes. Shane McAdams questions the materiality of nature and, with his sharpie landscapes, establishes a visual dialectic between represented, symbolic, and true nature, bringing into focus the tension between what is artificial and what is inherent to our environment. Jason Middlebrook relies on those inherent pieces of nature. He uses cross sections of trees – their flaws, scars, and rings – as “canvases” for his geometric, abstract sculptures. Kristine Moran’s fractured and fragmented views of man-made “landscapes” – the cultivated spaces of botanical gardens or the fabricated environments of greenhouses – investigate our evolving definition of, and continued reliance on, nature in an ever-urbanizing world. Nick van Woert creates conceptual, process-oriented sculptures that focus on the semantics of landscape, gathering his material from the built environment that surrounds his studio and using artificial materials to serve as substitutes for natural ones. The works that result from all of these artists call into question the meaning of landscape and our relationship to it.
The exhibition will be on view at Gerald Peters Gallery, 24 East 78th Street and continues through March 18th.
For more information or images please contact Anna Ortt: firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-628-9760
To inquire about the historical works of art, contact Alexandra Polemis Vigil: email@example.com or 212-628-9760