Forces of Nature: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation
October 22, 2011 – January 15, 2012
The theme of nature is particularly poignant for Louisiana residents following the unprecedented elevation of the Mississippi River, recent hurricanes, the Gulf oil spill, and constant threats of coastal erosion. Forces of Nature: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation showcases 74 significant artworks in diverse media on loan from one of the country’s most prestigious collections of contemporary fine art. The work of 62 notable international and American artists will be on view, including internationally acclaimed artists such as Joe Goode, Red Grooms, Robert Rauschenberg, Edward Ruscha, and Neil Welliver, as well as emerging talent. Among the artists representing Louisiana are Debbie Fleming Caffery, Dawn DeDeaux, Troy Dugas, Elizabeth Shannon, and Robert Warrens.
Forces of Nature presents universal insights alongside personal perceptions concerning environmental issues, and it encourages reflection. Some works are a response to actual events, such as New Orleanian Dawn DeDeaux’s Mold in Greens, 2006–07, or a depiction of the cycle of life, as in Daniel Dove’s Reindeer Attached by a Mountain Lion, 2005. Others make reference to the power of natural forces, such as Lesley Dill’s Flood (I Heard a Voice), 2001. Environmental conservation issues are addressed in works such as Ed Ruscha’s Atmospheric Trash, 1985. The artists explore both the splendor of untouched nature and its destructive power with equal reverence.
Throughout history, nature has been a primary source of inspiration for artists, each of whom addresses this subject through their own aesthetic. A wide range of types and styles of art are here presented, including Postmodernism, Photorealism, Pop and Urban Art. Art made by traditional methods, such as painting, printmaking, drawing, and sculpture, are represented together with objects made from unusual materials and new technologies. For instance, Srdjan Loncar’s Mountain, 2008, is composed of computer inkjet prints on aluminum and Brandon Graving’s installation Ephemera: River with Flowers, 2005, is a combination of embossed monoprints, blasting sand, and river sticks. The diverse range of media demonstrates the broad range of materials available to today’s artists.