October 9 to January 3, 2010
New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe. 476-5072
Opening reception, Friday, October 9, 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
It’s been a long and wonderful summer for LAND/ART, the ongoing project that continues through November and has brought attention to how we layer meaning upon the landscape in multilateral ways. Now, Laura Addison, Curator of Contemporary Art at the New Mexico Museum of Art, has done some of her own mining to reveal the fine lode within the Lannan Foundation’s collection of photographs for her exhibition Manmade. Addison takes advantage of the Foundation’s propensity toward supporting art that “focuses on the land or manmade environments” to reconstruct long-held notions of the landscape as Eden, muse, and/or natural contrast to unnatural modern life. Icons of the Earthworks genre James Turrell and Robert Smithson are subjects of the camera lens here. Also featured are the post-Katrina ravaged environment as photographed by Debbie Fleming Caffery, the Thames from a suicide’s point of view by Roni Horn, and portraits of exploding terrain by Sarah Pickering, among others. Says Addison, “The works in Manmade may take landscape tradition as its point of departure, but there is nothing ordinary about the artists’ approach to … a particular question or problem. In some instances that pursuit will take an artist to the ends of the earth, literally.” Addison notes that this exhibition of collected images sustains the foundation’s vision and mission: The Lannan Foundation, a family organization “dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity, and creativity,” is known for its support of the arts. This is the first instance that an entity of the Museum of New Mexico has shown works from the Lannan Collection.