Richard Misrach

Oil, photography

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Following up on Louis Helbig‘s presentation at Edinburgh College of Art comes Suzaan Boettger’s review in Brooklyn Rail of three books of photography of oil landscapes, Burtynsky’s Oil, J. Henry Fair’s The Day After Tomorrow: Images of our Earth in Crisis, and Richard Misrach and Kate Orff’s Petrochemical America.

The review addresses the approaches of the three photographers and comments on their aesthetic and art historical context.  There is a larger piece of work which would encompass, for instance, the also important books by James Marriott/PLATFORM including Next Gulf: London, Washington and the Oil Conflict in Nigeria and The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London.

These books provide a counterpoint because rather than focusing on the visual in the context of the industrial, they narrate the relationship between the impact on the lives of people living with the oil industry and our lives in London, or Scotland, or wherever and how we are complicit through financial investments, whether that’s JP Morgan Chase or Royal Bank of Scotland. 

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It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
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BLDGBLOG: Altered Landscape

Works by Terry Evans, David Maisel, Richard Misrach, Amy Stein, Edward Burtynsky, Michael Wolf, Kim Stringfellow, Emmet Gowin, Michael Light, Sharon Stewart, Toshio Shibata, Todd Hido, and dozens more fill the book, depicting California suburbs and deep desert weapons-testing facilities, oil pipelines, hydroelectric dams, and quarries; there are clearcut forests and solar plants, Arctic radar fields and National Park parking lots.

In “Howl” by Amy Stein, seen above, a wolf lost in the glare of light pollution breaks the silence of an abstract landscape, turning to the artificial astronomy of the municipal grid—its surrogate moons and constellations of streetlamps—to reorient itself in the snow. However, it’s worth pointing out that the wolf is, in fact, stuffed: Stein’s work simultaneously stages and documents what she calls “modern dioramas of our new natural history.”

via BLDGBLOG: Altered Landscape.

Current and upcoming eco art shows

{Fallen Forest, 2006, by Henrik Håkansson, soon to be on view at the Barbican in London.}

More eco shows just keep popping up. Here’s two that I’ve heard about recently. Unfortunately, neither museum has particularly interactive websites for these shows.

Trouble in Paradise: Examining Discord between Nature and Society
February 28, 2009 – June 28, 2009
Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ

Blurb:

Artists are looking at the beauty and the terror in the forces of nature through their honest and emotional portrayals, while sending urgent messages to pay attention to the ravages society inflicts on the land through war and waste. This exhibition will examine a range of art in a variety of media that addresses extreme forces of nature in two basic categories: nature-based discord, such as lightning, tornadoes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and fire; and human-caused environmental discord such as pollution, over-population, global warming, oil field fires, atomic fallout, and destruction of land. The debate about how much of nature’s wrath is the result of human impact and interference is ongoing, but questions are posed through stunning visuals about the seemingly unstoppable cycle of cause and effect. 

Artists:
Edward Burtynsky, Richard Misrach, William T. Wiley, Mark Dion, Joel Peter Witkin and about 50 more artists. Complete list here. (PDF)

Show website

Radical Nature Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969–2009
19 June 2009 – 18 October 2009
Barbican Art Gallery, London

Blurb

The beauty and wonder of nature have provided inspiration for artists and architects for centuries. Since the 1960s, the increasingly evident degradation of the natural world and the effects of climate change have brought a new urgency to their responses. Radical Nature is the first exhibition to bring together key figures across different generations who have created utopian works and inspiring solutions for our ever-changing planet. 

Artists:
Ant Farm, Richard Buckminster Fuller, Joseph Beuys, Agnes Denes, Hans Haacke and Robert Smithson are shown alongside a younger generation of practitioners including Heather and Ivan Morison, R&Sie (n), Philippe Rahm and Simon Starling.

Show website

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