Complex Terrain(s)

May 16, 2020 - August 9, 2020

Ilgenfritz, Corridor, and Parlor Galleries

For centuries, artists have rendered the landscape as a means to celebrate, idealize, and connect our human experience to the natural environment. In the nineteenth century, American artists depicted the breathtaking and sublime vistas discovered through westward expansion and travel. These Romantic landscapes recorded topography, at once bucolic, frightful, and untamed. Depictions of glorious landscapes bolstered a sense national pride, promoted tourism, and provided pastoral antidotes to rapid industrialization. Though our relationship to our surroundings has become increasingly more complex, for artists the landscape still beckons. Contemporary artists’ works celebrate the persistence of beauty in landscape, but also depict areas of distress, regions affected by climate change and places of conflict. This exhibition brings together landscapes intended to evoke the ethereal and divine, such as George Inness and William Trost Richards, with fresh approaches to the genre by modern and contemporary artists, from the Museum’s permanent collection and on loan. This show features a range of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, video, photography, and sculpture.

Selected artists include:
John Noble Barlow, George Bellows, Richard Benson, Francis Adams Comstock, Diane Cook, Ron Cowie, Sally Curcio, Mary Dondero, Durr Freedley, George Inness, Teri Malo, Salvatore Mancini, Sue McNally, Alan Metnick, Joel Meyerowitz, Peter Milton, Liz Nofziger, Joseph Norman, William Trost Richards, Rita Rogers, Francisco Sainz, Aaron Siskind, and more.