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Whether as a reaction to our technological present or as a manifestation of fears concerning our environmental future, depictions of the natural world in painting have never seemed more pertinent or urgent. Some of the most ambitious, crucial and intellectually vibrant paintings being created in this century involve the landscape - from a more traditional, perceptual based approach for rendering vistas to a looser, topography-inspired gestural abstraction that blurs the line between form and space, to many other modes in between. Surprisingly, there has not been an ambitious and wide-reaching publication on the subject - until now. The result of several years' worth of research, Landscape Painting Now is the first book to explore the very best contemporary landscape painting. Featuring artists from nearly twenty-five countries born over seven decades, it includes some of the brightest stars of the contemporary art world. It is introduced by an essay from Barry Schwabsky, who discusses the history of landscape painting, exploring how the genre developed through the 20th century to today, and how it has become increasingly relevant to art now. He also explores the notion of what is actually called a landscape painting today, and looks to expand beyond commonly held preconceptions concerning the genre.
Emilie Brzezinski began her art career in the 1970s, initially
working in a variety of media such as plastic, latex and wood
fiber. Equally inspired by Minimalism and natural forms, her early
work consisted of transparent resin casts of trees and
site-specific arrangements of expressionistic, figurative molds.
Since the early 1990s, she has focused entirely on monumental wood
sculpture, using a chainsaw and axe to carve forms that breathe new
life into found wood--arches, bowls, chairs, columns and discs.
"Nature has a grand design," she writes, "but its manifestations
unfold in imperfection and specificity. Respect to this persistent
individuality in natural form is the underpinning of my work as I
carve the trunk, I retain the essential outline and gesture of the
tree." Brzezinski's sculptural approach, which conjures the work of
artists as varied as David Nash, Magdalena Abakanowicz and Ursula
von Rydingsvard, celebrates the knots, hollows, wounds and cracks
of wood, and the myriad possibilities suggested by organic forms.
"The Lure of the Forest," designed by Katy Homans, explores the
entirety of the artist's career, documenting over 80 works.
Highlights include her magnum opus "Forest "(1997-2005), a
monumental work composed of 46 tree trunks, and "Family Trees"
(2010-2013), in which she combines sculpture and photography to
create a vivid portrait of her family members. In addition to
contributions by art historians John Beardsley, Barbara Rose and
Aneta Georgievska-Shine, the book includes an introduction by Mika
Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and the artist's
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