Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Anti-Grand: Contemporary Perspectives on Landscape


On view January 15 through March 6, 2015, in the Harnett Museum of Art, is the exhibition Anti-Grand: Contemporary Perspectives on Landscape curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter  and Kenta Murakami. The exhibition features 24 contemporary, international artists, artists’ collectives and game developers who examine, challenge, and re-define the concept of landscape while simultaneously drawing attention to humanity’s hubristic attempts to relate to, preserve, and manage the natural environment. Anti-Grand includes 33 works of art, with video, installation, video games, and traditional two- and three-dimensional work.
All of the works in the exhibition were created since 2000 to focus on art made well after the initial developments of the modern and popular discourse on environmentalism and sustainability. The exhibition’s title Anti-Grand suggests an approach to the topic that is opposite one of awe and reverie of the past, approaches that are now difficult to consider without an implicit sense of irony. Contemporary Perspectives of Landscape emphasizes the role of the artist’s and/or viewer’s choice of framing device as applied to both the represented scenery and the genre at large. Engaging humor, tenderness, ambivalence, and respect, the artists look at many facets of this subject. Unifying the exhibition are issues of representation that are inherent to the genre and the various ways in which artists have self-reflexively considered their relationship to the artistic subject.
As a starting point, the exhibition considers the idea of the landscape as “an aesthetic category par excellence.”  This concept is explored in Kim Keever’s (American, born 1955) photographs and video of landscapes constructed in 200-gallon tanks filled with water, the experimental prints of photographer Matthew Brandt (American, born 1982), and the voyeuristic dioramas of Patrick Jacobs’ (American, born 1971) set into the walls of a gallery. Katrín Elvarsdóttir (Icelandic, born 1964), the artists collective Flatform, and Jon-Phillip Sheridan (American, born 1977) all explore how landscape is perceived and framed, both by the camera and the viewer.

                                 Vanished Summer 32, 2013
Online Catalog: http://www.antigrand.com

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