When you think about landscape paintings, do you conjure bucolic images of rolling hills and grazing cattle, majestic mountains and meandering streams? The term “landscape” has taken on a much broader scope since the days of 19th century Hudson River School painters with idealized scenes of the bounty of America’s landscape. Informed by the past and ever-conscious of the styles and movements of art history, contemporary painters craft their own visions of landscape painting as vibrant departures from these antiquated scenes.
Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views features American landscape paintings executed in a variety of media from 49 of the country’s best contemporary painters. The artists use the traditional genre of landscape painting in compelling new ways, addressing contemporary issues of land use, nature appreciation, and ecology through their paintings of the American environment. Each artist featured takes acute notice of the physical world at a time of heightened awareness of the landscape, informed by today’s concerns including climate change, environmental health, conservation and the green movement.
Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views offers a range of styles, subjects and approaches which, when taken together form an intimate, contemporary and startlingly beautiful collection that addresses what landscape painting is today. The styles range from representational to abstract to non-objective and include established art stars, emerging talent, mentors, devotees, students and teachers. All of the work continues a tradition which persists through time and in popularity as artists use their surroundings as inspiration for creative expression and form a unique portrait of our country. Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views shows us America today.
Lauren P. Della Monica is the Guest Curator of Painted Landscapes: Contemporary Views.