Exhibition poster designed by participating artist Elizabeth Corkery
Installation view including Elizabeth Corkery, Erin Leland, Heidi Norton, Frank Poor, Clement Valla and Amy Beecher. All documentary photography by Lindsey Stapleton.
Installation view including Clement Valla, Amy Beecher, Letha Wilson and Frank Poor.
Clement Valla (wall left), Amy Beecher (floor) and Letha Wilson (wall right).
Clement Valla (wall left), Amy Beecher (floor) and Letha Wilson (wall center).
Installation view including Clement Valla, Jessica Labatte and Frank Poor.
Jessica Labatte and Letha Wilson
The Newest Romantics:
Sculptors of Sublime Imagery
January 20 - March 25, 2017
New Art Center, Boston, MA
Artists: Amy Beecher, Elizabeth Corkery, Theresa Ganz, Jessica Labatte, Erin Leland, Heidi Norton, Frank Poor, Clement Valla and Letha Wilson
The Newest Romantics: Sculptors of Sublime Imagery, a group exhibition curated by Jamilee Lacy, features artists working with photographic imagery and objects depicting the Romantic notion of the Sublime in nature, including extreme landscapes, botanical still lifes and architectural environments overwhelmed by nature. On view in New Art Center’s main gallery from January 20 through March 25, the exhibition features formal variations of photographic imagery in combination with sculpture, video, architecture and site-specific installation.
The Newest Romantics title is the intentional casting of this group of contemporary American artists as a new generation dealing with themes original to the Romantic era—scenic vistas and overgrown exotic flora that express the inherent power and beauty of nature and set scenes of the Sublime. But unlike the original Romantics, who primarily produced painting, prose and poetry and who opposed the strictly symmetrical, formal gardens and landscapes held dear by the aristocracy, The Newest Romantics use photography to embrace tension found between nature’s chaos and Modernism’s angular order.
While historical interpretations of nature in art underpin this exhibition’s theme, the artists featured also harness illusive qualities of photography and sleek lines of architectural sculpture in ways that showcase today's cutting-edge photographic processes. Theresa Ganz and Letha Wilson compactly synthesize lush botanicals with harsh landscapes, conjuring apt yet contrasting references to historical painting by the likes of John Constable and the Hudson River School. The lenticular and architectural photographic structures of Amy Beecher and Frank Poor explore the development of new, hybrid edifices through combinations of unruly plant and human life, overgrown landscapes and framed space. Elizabeth Corkery and Erin Leland consider Romantic notions—from orderly imperial gardens to whimsical rolling hills—through the lens of later art historical movements. Heidi Norton, Clement Valla and Jessica Labatte arrange or sculpt traditional floral still lifes in the studio before flattening their constructions via staged studio photography, computerized picture-making apparatuses and industrial fabrication methods. Holistically, The Newest Romantics demonstrates the lasting thematic, cultural and emotional connections artists cultivate with the Sublime in nature and its image.