Nature takes over art, in an exhibition showing at Burning in Water in NYC, showcasing various artists who explore the relationship between nature and our physical world. Fusing two important aspects of the world, heeds a collection of eco sculptures by various contemporary artists. The show, titles “a certain kind of Eden” tells the tale of nature’s demise and destruction amongst a sea of industrial innovation, pollution, deforestation, and more. Yet, glimmers of hope remain, as these artists and curators aspire to fuse nature’s power, with the transcendence of art. The exhibition is inspired by a poem that expresses “the greenest saddest strongest kind of hope.”

While somber in it’s past, the artists look to brighter future with their pieces that warn of disastrous consequences at the world’s current pace, however hopes to inspire others to band together and protect what was once prosperous, bountiful and life-giving: nature itself. According to their press release, the show is meant to “reflect a fragile equipoise between creation and destruction, evoking the dynamic equilibrium underlying the biological, environmental, and climatic systems that facilitate life.”

Works by Matthew Brandt highlight at risk bodies of water across the States. His pieces are soaked in the waters of each lake, and allowed to sit until the chemicals take effect on the original piece, showing the true devastation of chemicals and toxins.

Matthew Brandt, Rainbow Lake, 2013


Valerie Hegarty’s centerpiece shows a moss covered tree as it devours her canvas and paint. Her, mixed media piece,”directly attacks the idea of the landscape as something that exists outside the ravages of time and the impact of society.” Her canvas and paint mediums, prove no match for the real forces of nature’s landscape.

Valerie Hegarty, Return to the Catskills (detail), 2008

Kasper Sonne prefers to work with fire and explores its effects on his canvas. One piece, set ablaze ravages through the canvas, revealing the wooden frame.

Kasper Sonne, Borderline (New Territory) PW, 2015

The exhibition arises as a response to already imminent environmental issues and initiatives, rather than a critique, it garners support for those who have recognized this destructive path, and aim to create legacies that will protect and provide nature sanctuary. “Within American politics, it does not seem like the issue is really a lack of awareness. The climate science, for example, is characterized by a remarkable degree of consensus,” says Barry Malin, curator of the show.


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