Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1970, Foto: Anne Gold,© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2019

Observing Nature

The collection presentation displays an extensive array of nature, which is constantly being reexamined as a subject matter of art. Against the background of the performance art and concept art of the 1960s, artists such as Robert Smithson, Hamish Fulton, Richard Long, and Michael Heizer created a completely novel figurative relationship between artistic work and nature, which is now no longer merely depicted, as in landscape painting or photography, but instead constitutes the artwork as designed nature.

In numerous documentary works located at the intersection of land art, performance art, and concept art, nature is portrayed as a place of longing to be explored. Motifs from the Romantic period are adopted here, such as those in the work of Aachen artist duo Barbara and Michael Leisgen or the British artist Hamish Fulton, who predominantly present the secluded landscape as the landscape of the soul.

As an antithesis to the figurative art that the exhibition mainly focuses on, abstract works by Gerhard Richter, Lee Lozano, Klaus Rinke, Robert Morris, and Ron Cooper address natural phenomena that—playfully and with scientific mathematical precision—negotiate either nature or distant cosmic worlds, the subject of Nancy Graves’ works.

Kuratiert von Dr. Christian Haring

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