I'm pleased to announce that "The Altered Landscape" an environmentally themed art exhibition I curated, currently on view in the Lobby Gallery at 499 Park Avenue, New York City, the 28 story office tower owned and managed by Hines, the international real estate firm, has been extended through March 12, 2010.
Hines has been an industry leader in sustainable development for over half a century, and this exhibit is a unique way for the firm to draw attention to the building's Energy Star rating, help it reinforce its Green message, and inspire environmentally friendly actions amongst its tenants, visitors, and staff.
The exhibit features the work of five contemporary artists who share a deep understanding of the precariousness of our relationship to the natural world. They use art as leverage to address the pervasive inability of humanity to integrate with the rest of nature. Each artist's distinctive approach conveys these ideas profoundly, capturing our imagination and helping us see things from a new perspective.
Adapting the visual vocabulary of children’s book illustration to large-scale works, Randy Bolton uses wry humor and irony to explore relations between humans and the physical world. Employing succinct narrative scenarios, Bolton’s work presents human psychology in a perpetual state of contradiction, ambiguity and missed connections, where hope of integration with the natural world may indeed elude us, doomed to be lost in the simple bumbling of our day-to-day existence.
Stephanie Lempert's text-based photographs, document several success stories, where people have begun to take some measure of responsibility for past actions in relation to the natural environment. She presents picturesque images of public parks that are built upon waste sites and overlays the photographs with text that describes details of the conversion process. Her work exudes optimism asserting a re-conception of nature from the ashes of our misdeeds, and proposing the possibility that, if put to the right ends, human ingenuity might find an antidote to human excess.
Keever constructs and photographs dramatic dioramas of geological formations and imaginary worlds in a 100-gallon fish tank in his studio, resulting in expansive atmospheric landscapes. His images recall embedded notions of nature as the embodiment of the sublime, while at the same time, asserting the artificiality of that ideal. Like dream-scapes, these hazy vistas are remote but inviting, exotic but strangely familiar. They present nature as a place of otherworldly ethereal beauty – a place that is ultimately accessible only through the imagination.
Maisel's aerial photographs from his Terminal Mirage series feature exquisite cropped compositions and astonishing color. His intent is to portray the impact that mankind has had on the natural landscape and he creates a dynamic and breathtaking tension between the visual beauty of his images and the staggering environmental devastation they suggest.
His highly detailed digital images of enhanced distant views of extra-ordinary natural landforms reveal the history of Earth's geologic processes and natural development. His images give us the ability to literally rise above the clutter of surface detail, to examine the structure of the whole, and to get a palpable sense of the planet as a living organism.