Landscape: Awe to Activism
On view through July 19, 2020
Museum of Sonoma County
Santa Rosa, California
www.museumsc.org
 
“Landscape: Awe to Activism,” curated by Jeff Nathanson, explores the evolvement of landscape art, from artists awe-inspired by nature, to contemporary artists engaged in the creation of land art, to activists utilizing art to address important issues such as climate change, land rights, and border politics. Historical context for “Landscape” begins with 19th century California artists who were inspired to represent and interpret their appreciation of the natural beauty and majesty of the unblemished California landscape. Drawing from the Museum of Sonoma County’s extensive collection, the exhibition includes 19th century California landscape paintings by significant artists such as William Keith, Thomas Hill, and R.G. Holdridge.
 
With the advancement of science, global exploration, industrialization, and the societal changes that have occurred, artists’ relationship to the land, nature, and representation of landscape has shifted. 20th century artists began to explore new ways of interacting and engaging physically with the landscape through interventions and by creating conceptual earthworks. Included in “Landscape” is a selection of works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, whose “Running Fence” installation stretched through Marin and Sonoma Counties.
 
Image: Christo, Running Fence, Project for Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1974, collage with pencil, fabric, pastel, charcoal, crayon and staples