In 1969 the legendary Earth Art exhibition took place at Cornell University. A new kind of exhibition, curated by Willoughby Sharp, it presented site-specific installations by nine international artists, scattered around the Cornell campus and the surrounding Ithaca landscape. Responding in part to consumerism, mass media, and the insularity of art in the late 1960s, these installations were also shown in the context of a developing international environmental movement.
It is at this intersection—where art meets life—that the influence of the 1960s earth artists has perhaps had the most significant impact on a current generation of artists working on issues related to the environment and sustainability. With metaphor, humor, and direct action, artists are able to represent ideas and reveal patterns often hidden beneath the surface by merging rational observation with beauty, creativity, and inspiration.
Comprising separate installations and exhibitions that address issues related to the representation of landscape, water supply, food justice, recycling, fair distribution of natural resources, and the nature/culture divide, beyond earth art • contemporary artists and the environment is on view in all of the Johnson Museum’s temporary exhibition galleries and lobbies, as well as outside the Museum on the façade and grounds. The work included operates in the gap between the objectivity of scientific data and the subjectivity of creative expression, signaling the interconnectedness of the themes addressed.
The exhibition Food-Water-Life/Lucy+Jorge Orta, curated by c2 | curatorsquared and organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery, is also on view as part of the beyond earth art project.
Materials related to the 1969 Earth Art exhibition will also be presented, alongside works from the permanent collection by some of the Earth Art artists as well as others who were working in a similar mode in the 1970s and ’80s.
Artists on view January 25–May 11 on Floor 1
Ansel Adams, Matthew Brandt, Adam Cvijanovic, Blane De St. Croix, Olafur Eliasson, Rose-Lynn Fisher, Noriko Furunishi, Patricia Johanson, Chris Jordan, Timothy O’Sullivan, Maria Park, Alexis Rockman, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Carleton E. Watkins
Artists on view January 25–June 8 throughout the Museum
Michael Ashkin, Brandon Ballengée, Anna Betbeze, Troy Brauntuch, Edward Burtynsky, Agnes Denes, Mark Dion, Chris Doyle, Jack Elliott, Dionisio González, Christian Houge, Yun-Fei Ji, David LaChapelle, Maya Lin, Ana Mendieta, Robert Morris, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Dennis Oppenheim, Maggie Puckett, Allan Sekula, Robert Smithson, Alan Sonfist, Michelle Stuart, Maarten Vanden Eynde, Marion Wilson, Yang Yi
beyond earth art • contemporary artists and the environment was curated by Andrea Inselmann, curator of modern and contemporary art & photography at the Johnson Museum. The project was supported in part by generous gifts from Constance and Tommy Bruce, Cynthia and Malcolm Davison, Henrietta P. Hillman ’47, Dale Reis Johnson ’58 and Dick Johnson ’57, Ronni Lacroute ’66, the Estate of Elizabeth Miller Francis ’47, and a grant from the Cornell Council for the Arts. Additional support was provided by the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts and the Lannan Foundation.
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Johnson Museum of Art