Landscape Into Eco Art: Articulations of Nature Since The 60s

 Cover Image:  Reinhard Reitzenstein, Transformer , 2000. Cime et Racine Symposium, La Gabelle, near Trois Rivières, Québec. By kind permission of the artist.

Cover Image: Reinhard Reitzenstein, Transformer , 2000. Cime et Racine Symposium, La Gabelle, near Trois Rivières, Québec. By kind permission of the artist.

"Dedicated to an articulation of the earth from broadly ecological perspectives, eco art is a vibrant subset of contemporary art that addresses the widespread public concern with rapid climate change and related environmental issues.  In Landscape into Eco Art, Mark Cheetham systematically examines connections and divergences between contemporary eco art, land art of the 1960s and 1970s, and the historical genre of landscape painting.

Through eight thematic case studies that illuminate what eco art means in practice, reception, and history, Cheetham places the form in a longer and broader art-historical context. He considers a wide range of media—from painting, sculpture, and photography to artists’ films, video, sound work, animation, and installation—and analyzes the work of internationally prominent artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Nancy Holt, Mark Dion, and Robert Smithson. In doing so, Cheetham reveals eco art to be a dynamic extension of a long tradition of landscape depiction in the West that boldly enters into today’s debates on climate science, government policy, and our collective and individual responsibility to the planet.

An ambitious intervention into eco-criticism and the environmental humanities, this volume provides original ways to understand the issues and practices of eco art in the Anthropocene. Art historians, humanities scholars, and lay readers interested in contemporary art and the environment will find Cheetham’s work valuable and invigorating."

Humbled that a lengthy consideration of my work is included in Mark's new book among artists such as Robert Smithson,  Olafur Eliasson, Nancy Holt, Mark Dion, Shelley Niro, James Nizam, Abelardo Morell, Roni Horn, Isabelle Hayeur, Sharon Switzer, Paul Walde, Mariele Neudecker, Arthur Renwick, Dennis Oppenheim and many more.

Buy it here: http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08003-1.html#

Mark writes of The Photograph: Suspended Tree, 2016:

"....Wright emphasizes the profound difference between image making as a creative exercise and its much more common commercial deployment. In one, the camera conforms to what it pictures; in the other, the object that generates the image conforms to the technology so that the camera’s activities are emphasized. Put otherwise, just as the container turned camera obscura inverts both image and a viewer’s expectations, so too it constructs a composition inside the box that insists on the conditions of viewing and image making rather than on a result, an image as commodity in the way that cars are products..."

Making Art At The Mall

Sometimes, you just plain forget you've made something.  Here's a work called Ether Fever:The Very Thing:The Theory Of Everything from 2012.  It's a video of engraving a stainless steel business card case that contains an SD card, upon which is a copy of the video that shows the engraving of a stainless steel business card case...

Finalists for the 2017 Mid-Career Artist Award

I'm totally honoured to be included in such illustrious company for this award: Maura and Jesse are stunningly great artists! 

The Ottawa Arts Council would like to thank RBC Royal Bank, RBC Foundation, Mann Lawyers LLP, GGFL Chartered Accountants, Ian Capstick and Shawn Dearn, and the City of Ottawa for their support of the Ottawa Arts Council Awards Program.

The awards recipients will be announced at the Arts Awards Presentation on Tuesday,May 9th in the Arts Court Theatre. The recipient in each category will be awarded $5,000 and the finalists will each receive $1,000.

MauraDoyle.jpg

Maura Doyle

Maura Doyle lives and works in Ottawa. Her multidisciplinary practice has included video, ceramics, sculpture, book works, printed matter and drawing. Her recent work focuses on the medium of clay, prehistoric pottery and processes, which includes the traditional techniques of hand building and pit firing. Her work has been exhibited across Canada in artist-run centres and art institutions, and internationally in New York, Japan, Sweden and Vienna. She received her MFA from the University of Guelph and is represented by Paul Petro Contemporary Art in Toronto (http://paulpetro.com)

 

 

Jesse Stewart

Jesse Stewart is an award-winning composer, percussionist, artist, instrument-builder, and educator. His music has been documented on over twenty recordings including Stretch Orchestra’s self-titled debut album, which was honoured with the 2012 “Instrumental Album of the Year” JUNO award. He has performed and recorded with musical luminaries from around the world, and has been widely commissioned as a composer and artist. He is a professor of music in Carleton University’s music program and an adjunct professor in the visual arts department at the University of Ottawa. In 2015, OttawaJazzScene.ca described him as “one of the most innovative musicians in Canada."


Andrew Wright

Andrew Wright's work is described as multi-tiered inquiries into the nature of perception, photographic structures and technologies, and the ways we relate to a mediated and primarily visual world. He has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, with exhibitions in London, UK, Vancouver, Toronto, Korea, Oakville Galleries, Madrid, to name of few. Wright is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. Nominated six times for the Sobey Art Award he was a semi-finalist in 2007. In 2016 he was nominated for the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. In 2011 he won the inaugural Gattuso Prize at CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto. He is Chair of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa.

The Photograph: Suspended Tree

Off to Korea next week with Jon Sasaki and Jinny Yu.  I hope to achieve some version this (the shipping container is a camera obscura):

All the Kids are doin' it: 1st bit of eCommerce

Pretty Lofty And Heavy All At Once Book
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Andrew Wright @ The Herbert Art Museum, Coventry

Full video of my talk on March 3rd, 2016. 53 minutes.

Andrew Wright talks about his photographic practice 3 March 2016. Many thanks to the Coventry School of Art & Design at Coventry University and to Rachelle Viader Knowles

Travelling Light: Views of Ontario

It’s completely mysterious to me how photography works...It’s just a way to make small revelations about the world, I think.
— Geoffrey James
 Meryl McMaster,  Wingeds Calling  from  In Between Worlds , 2012

Meryl McMaster, Wingeds Calling from In Between Worlds, 2012

Online exhibition celebrating Ontario for Chinese and Canadian audiences featuring:

Lise Beaudry
Toni Hafkenscheid
April Hickox
Geoffrey James
Meryl McMaster
Rebecca Scriver
Jeff Thomas
Andrew Wright

Curated by Scott McLeod

Project Manager Craig D'Arville, Executive Producer Zhe Ghu, Ontario Arts Council

Andrew Wright: Data Trespass, London Gallery West, March 11 - April 10, 2016


 Detail from   Surge  , 2016

Detail from Surge, 2016

Andrew Wright: Data Trespass
London Gallery West
The Forum
Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design
University of Westminster
Watford Road, Harrow, HA1 3TP   
T: +44 (0)20 7911 5970     
E: a.leeman@westminster.ac.uk
westminster.ac.uk/london-gallery-west

EXHIBITION PRIVATE VIEW
Thursday 10 March 2016, 5 – 8pm

GALLERY TALK
March 2016 (tbd), 1-2pm
Tour of the exhibition with artist Andrew Wright and David Bate, Professor of Photography at the University of Westminster in conversation.
Free, open to all.

EXHIBITION OPENING TIMES
Until 10 April, 9am – 5pm daily
Free admission, open to all.
Press images available on request

 
OAC_REVISED_NEWCOLOURS_1805c

London Gallery West is delighted to present works of acclaimed Canadian artist Andrew Wright. The artist’s international solo exhibition will feature a new London Gallery West commission – a large site-specific photographic installation that adorns the 24 windows of the glazed façade of the entrance to The Forum. This new work, titled Surge, was photographed in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, the most geothermically active location on the planet. Consisting of never-before-seen images of tumultuous geysers shot at night with high-powered flash, this work presents unquantifiable detail while at the same time inviting a reconsideration of photography’s veracity. These images are a continuation and expansion of Wright’s Illuminated Landscapes series begun in 2001, and are reminiscent of his well-known Water’s Edge (2005), shot at the base of Niagara Falls. Using techniques drawn from the indoor photographic studio and applied to landscape, an overt artificiality characterizes large images that contain both complexities that are essentially impossible to depict or describe—even photographically—and areas of utter void and empty blackness.

Other works include Data Trespass: Illegal Photographs, a conceptual suite of panoramic images that antagonize a recent Wyoming statute that makes outdoor photography an illegal and indictable form of data collection. Accompanying this photographic series is a new video also titled Data Trespass whose  footage derives from a mock trial where Wright was prosecuted for his apparent contravention of the Wyoming ‘no photography’ law.

Dawson Looking Glass troubles conventions of landscape and street photography by picturing a photo-performance with a large mirror in the Yukon during ‘midnight sun’, the longest day of the year. Also featured are sculptural works such as Disused Twin Brownie Hawkeye Cameras, an example of Wright’s ongoing use twinning, mirroring and doubling as part of a complex play on perception. Beijing Odyssey is a contemplative video work shot from Beijing hotel room and offers a drastically occluded view of a massive LED advertising billboard that explores the zones of transfer and exchange between the marvels of the machine age and the visual culture of modernity.

Wright’s use of photography is decidedly non-conventional as it challenges lyricism and traditional pictorial aims and favours an exploratory, evocative approach that probes optical and representational technologies, their cultures, their histories, conventions and conceits. Wright’s photographic, sculptural, and video practice critiques the photographic activities of depiction and representation. His provocative use of photographic materials and photo-like procedures suggest alternate ways of both considering and interpreting image and object. For Wright, meaning is often derived from conditions or circumstances outside of or in direct opposition to information presented as depiction.

Andrew Wright’s artistic practice sits at the intersection of traditional and conceptual forms of artmaking. Recent exhibitions include: Penumbra, Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, Toronto (2013); Selected Diptychs & Multiples, Thames Art Gallery, Canada (2014); Pretty Lofty and Heavy All At Once, Ottawa Art Gallery (2015); Untitled Photographic Pictures, Patrick Mikhail Gallery, Montréal (2015); Xi’an Art Museum, China and at Beijing's Today Art Museum alongside the works of Michael Snow, Ed Burtynsky and Iain Baxter&. Two of his photographic works were selected for permanent installation at the newly refurbished Canada House, Canada’s High Commission on Trafalgar Square in 2015.

Wright has also exhibited at Presentation House, Vancouver, the University of California, Berkeley, Oakville Galleries and Photo Miami. As an artist-in-residence, he has worked at the Banff Centre and at Braziers International Artists Workshop (UK). He was a 'war artist' with the Canadian Forces Artists Program, aboard Canadian warship HMCS Toronto. He won the inaugural Gattuso Prize at Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival in Toronto (2011). Andrew Wright is represented by Patrick Mikhail Gallery in Montréal and Ottawa. He is an Associate Professor of Visual Art and Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa.

 

Untitled Photographic Pictures: CIEL VARIABLE review by Adam Barbu

"…the photographic impulse itself is always already held in a tension between composition and incident…"

In recent years, Ottawa based artist Andrew Wright has produced numerous bodies of work that propose new readings on the ontology of the image. In particular, Wright's exhibition at Patrick Mikhail's new Montreal gallery space, titled Untitled Photographic Pictures, presents a series of large-scale photographic works and two mixed-media sculptural works that underscore the artist’s continued effort to use classical motifs and methods as a means to access broader questions concerning the medium of photography itself.

In this series of photographs, Wright opens up a rich interpretive space by taking the motif of the empty landscape and making it strange. Each photograph is a direct-from-camera snapshot taken through the window of a moving train.  As he passes by the landscape, Wright makes a deliberate jerking motion with the camera that causes the otherwise clear, focused image to be interrupted. This destabilizing movement leaves the viewer continually distanced from the "original" landscape. Within the confines of the gallery space, these visual disturbances, or “knots,” are immediately apparent to the viewer; yet, the images, captured in the moment between documentation and abstraction, are not clearly revealed. At first glance – without consulting the exhibition text, for example – one might assume that the artist has digitally edited these images to arrive at an ideal formal state. However, the critical viewer will not read these photographs simply as either completely "untouched" or "altered," but will consider the ways in which the photographic impulse itself is always already held in a tension between composition and incident. The queerness of Wright’s arrival of the image is related to his broader interest in shifting the conversation away from representation or iconographic content and toward process itself...

READ MORE HERE...

Dawson Looking Glass

Dawson Looking Glass, Performance, 2015

 Dawson Looking Glass 1, 2015, documentation of performance (photographic print, 40 x 26 inches, edition of 5, 1 artist proof)

Dawson Looking Glass 1, 2015, documentation of performance (photographic print, 40 x 26 inches, edition of 5, 1 artist proof)

Click the image to see the full series of images.

Some days I wish I were a painter...

Silvered Pictures, 2015
Silver leaf on greeting cards purchased at the National Gallery with reproductions of paintings by Cornelius Kreighoff and William Kurelek. See more here