The Naturalist Impulse in Contemporary Art
Sales Date: 2019-11-12
120 Pages, 9.00 x 11.00 in, 75 color photos
Contemporary artists probe the impact of human intervention on the environment
Just as artists of the 19th and 20th centuries participated in forging an American natural history as explorers, cataloguers, collectors, and early environmentalists, contemporary artists continue to incorporate and comment on the natural world in their art. Motivated by the inexorable rise of urban-industrial development and the subsequent deterioration of our planet, artists confront the vulnerability of our environment and the effects of global climate change to illustrate the continued relevance of ecology and nature conservation to contemporary artistic practice. In Fragile Earth: The Naturalist Impulse in Contemporary Art, leading artists Jennifer Angus, Mark Dion, Courtney Mattison, and James Prosek make natural elements their medium conceptually and literally, from prints created with eel bodies, to ceramic sculpture mimicking coral bleaching, cabinets filled with colorful plastic collected from oceans and rivers, and walls covered with shockingly beautiful, preserved insects. Bringing an artistic perspective to natural science, these essays and written conversations showcase the persuasive role artists can play in advocating for the preservation of our earth.
Foreword: Rebekah Beaulieu • Fragile Earth: The Naturalist Impulse in Contemporary Art; Jennifer Stettler Parsons • Drawing Lines: Examining the Human Urge to Create Boundaries in Nature; James Prosek • Silver Wings and Golden Scales; Or, An Evening of Metamorphosis at the Lyme Art Colony; Jennifer Angus • Dialogue: Clay, Coral, and Climate Change: Conserving the Seas through Ceramic Art; Jane Lubchenco and Courtney Mattison • Dialogue: Communicating Ecology in Art: System Thinking in a Fragmented World; Mark Dion and James Prosek • Artist Biographies, Object Entries, & Plates; James Prosek, Courtney Mattison, Mark Dion, Jennifer Angus • Selected Bibliography • Exhibition Checklist • Acknowledgments