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

LeWitt, 1974 Wilmarth, 1977 Wesselmann, 1965 1851, Durand

Upcoming Events

Sep
19
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12:00 pm Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Medium of Rock
Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Med…
Sep 19 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Medium of Rock
Albert Bierstadt, In the Mountains, 1867, oil on canvas Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Medium of Rock: Take a closer look at Carl Andre’s Stone Field [...]
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
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Film: Middle of Nowhere
Film: Middle of Nowhere: When her husband is sentenced to eight years in prison, a woman drops out of medical school in order to focus [...]
Sep
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all-day Envisionfest Community Day: The View from Here
Envisionfest Community Day: The …
Sep 20 all-day
Envisionfest Community Day: The View from Here
Envisionfest Community Day: The View from Here: Explore a new point of view at the third annual Envisionfest Hartford – a citywide family-friendly festival that [...]
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Sep 20 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
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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