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

1856, Meissonier 1938, Tchelitchew 1856, Church 1827, Cole

Upcoming Events

Aug
21
Thu
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Aug 21 @ 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 [...]
7:00 pm Film: The Great Passage
Film: The Great Passage
Aug 21 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Film: The Great Passage
Film: The Great Passage: An introverted and unsuccessful salesman is asked to finish a new modern dictionary. After humbly accepting the daunting job, he dedicates [...]
Aug
22
Fri
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Aug 22 @ 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 [...]
5:30 pm Movies & Music: Desire
Movies & Music: Desire
Aug 22 @ 5:30 pm – 9:45 pm
Movies & Music: Desire
Movies & Music: Desire: An automotive engineer bound for a holiday in Spain meets a sultry jewel thief. 1936. USA. 95 min. Not Rated. B&W. [...]
Aug
23
Sat
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Aug 23 @ 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 [...]

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