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

Eliasson, 2000 1855, Kensett 1490, di Cosimo 1860, Casilear

Upcoming Events

Sep
3
Wed
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Sep 3 @ 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 [...]
Sep
4
Thu
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Sep 4 @ 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 [...]
5:00 pm First Thursday: Sing the Blues
First Thursday: Sing the Blues
Sep 4 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
First Thursday: Sing the Blues
First Thursday: Sing the Blues: End the summer on a high note! Enjoy live music by XY Eli Blues Band, a 3 in 30 tour [...]
8:00 pm Film: Le Week-End
Film: Le Week-End
Sep 4 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Film: Le Week-End
Film: Le Week-End: In an attempt to rejuvenate their marriage, a British couple returns to Paris, the city in which they spent their honeymoon many [...]
Sep
5
Fri
12:00 pm Gallery Talk: Lines & Squares
Gallery Talk: Lines & Squares
Sep 5 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Gallery Talk: Lines & Squares
Piet Mondrian, Composition in Blue and White, 1935, oil on canvas Gallery Talk: Lines & Squares: Some of the simplest forms – lines and geometric [...]

View Calendar

 

Hours & Admission

Hours:
Wednesday – Friday: 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
First Thursdays: 11 am – 8 pm

Admission:
Members: Free
Adults: $10
Seniors (age 62+): $8
Students (age 13 & over or with college ID): $5
Children (age 12 & under): Free
First Thursdays (from 5-8 pm): $5