Anti-Grand: Contemporary Perspectives on Landscape
Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museums, January 15 to March 6, 2015
— Denis Cosgrove, Social Formation and Symbolic Landscape, 1998
This exhibition presented work by international artists, artist collectives, and game developers who examine, challenge, and re-define the concept of the landscape genre while simultaneously drawing attention to humanity’s hubristic attempts to represent, preserve, and ultimately control the natural environment. Through abstraction and simulation, parody and pastiche, the artists explore the ways in which we relate to the land, working in video, installation, video games, and traditional two- and three-dimensional work.
All of the works in this 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 on 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, these 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.
Organized by the University of Richmond Museums, the exhibition was co-curated by N. Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, and Kenta Murakami, ’15, art history major and 2014-2015 Curatorial Assistant, University Museums. The exhibition, programs, and accompanying publication are made possible in part with funding from the University of Richmond’s Cultural Affairs Committee, the Dean’s Office of the School of Arts and Sciences, the 2014-2015 Tucker-Boatwright Festival of Literature and the Arts, hosted by the Department of Art and Art History in collaboration with University Museums, and the Louis S. Booth Arts Fund. The printed and online exhibition catalogues are made possible in part with support from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. Installation images by David Hershey.
Click here to view the exhibition catalogue.