Earthworks on Paper
February 23 - June 17, 2007
Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art exhibition is one of two current shows in which artists address issues of the landscape and environment in innovative ways. Earthworks on Paper features 30 prints, drawings, and photographs that document or translate site-specific environmental sculptural works. During the 1960s and 1970s, artists began to use the natural environment as a medium as well as a subject for art. Creating sculptural works from and with soil, trees, rocks, and the natural boundaries of land, Earthworks grew out of artists’ desires to leave the confines of the gallery and museum and engage directly with the landscape. As these works often existed in remote places and sometimes for limited periods of time, documentation became an important part of the artistic process, as well as a method for preserving these vital projects. Since that time, artists have continued to engage the natural environment, expanding the focus of their predecessors’ work.
Highlights of the exhibition include Revival Ramp, a print documenting Mel Chin’s 1991 toxic soil reclamation project in St. Paul, Minnesota; a preparatory drawing for Christo’s 1983 Surrounded Islands executed in Biscayne Bay, Florida; and a series of drawings by Welsh sculptor David Nash of Ash Dome, a sculpture made from ash trees on his property that took 30 years for the artist to complete. Other artists represented include Michael Heizer, Ana Mendieta, and Alan Sonfist.