Rosemary Laing Australian, born 1959, groundspeed (Rose Petal) #17, 2001, Chromogenic color print, Alexander A. Goldfarb Contemporary Art Acquisition Fund, 2006.26.1, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

An Artificial Wilderness: The Landscape in Contemporary Photography
August 31, 2013 – February 23, 2014

Man’s impact on the natural landscape takes the form of construction, destruction and intervention in the photographic imagery in An Artificial Wilderness. The title borrows a phrase from the W. H. Auden poem The Shield of Achilles (1952), referring to modern society’s passive stance toward the decline of human values, and its disregard for the physical world. Exemplifying this idea at its most extreme, Edward Burtynsky captures the world’s largest accumulation of discarded rubber tires; Lewis Baltz confronts an uncommon, mundane subject—an urban parking lot—and finds beauty; Rosemary Laing documents a seamlessly laid, floral wall-to-wall carpet in a eucalyptus forest to symbolize the domestication of the natural environment. These diverse works from the museum’s contemporary photography collection date from the 1960s to the present and feature 16 prominent photographers with distinctive signature styles, all of which depict altered and abstract landscapes from around the globe, including Australia, Bangladesh, Iceland and Mexico.

Featured Artists: Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Claire Beckett, Frank Breuer, Edward Burtynsky, Olafur Eliasson, Andy Goldsworthy, Rosemary Laing, Louise Lawler, Ana Mendieta, Ed Ruscha, Sandy Skoglund, Doug and Mike Starn, and James Welling.

From Our Collection

Felix Francis Georges Philbert Ziem 1865, Daubigny 1907, Monet 1734, Coypel

Upcoming Events

all-day 41st Hartford Youth Art Renaissance
41st Hartford Youth Art Renaissance
Apr 12 – May 18 all-day
41st Hartford Youth Art Renaissance
Hartford Youth Art Renaissance, 2013 41st Hartford Youth Art Renaissance: Celebrate the 41st anniversary of the museum’s partnership with the Hartford Public School District to [...]
all-day CANCELED: Day Art Tour: Newark Museum
CANCELED: Day Art Tour: Newark M…
Apr 24 all-day
CANCELED: Day Art Tour: Newark Museum: Join the Women’s Committee for a day exploring the Newark Museum, New Jersey’s largest museum. $115; $105 Members, includes [...]
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Tour: Highlights
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Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]
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Film: A Journey
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Film: A Journey: Two solitary people meet and form a bond in the backcountry of the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec. 2013. Canada. 85 min. Not [...]
all-day Fine Art & Flowers
Fine Art & Flowers
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Fine Art & Flowers: Welcome spring at our annual fundraiser Fine Art & Flowers! View floral arrangements inspired by works of art in our collection [...]

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