Making Gestures: Land Art’s Moment in the UK

LONDON — Land art is having a moment in the UK. It was building last year with two shows, in Margate and Birmingham, by perambulatory artist Hamish Fulton. More ‘walking art’ is afoot in Sunderland. April found Nancy Holt on show in Manchester. And in maritime city Southampton, we have not one but two land art exhibitions, one of which will take a three stop tour of the region. The genre has nothing if not geographical spread.

Is The Art Show a Senior Citizen’s Swinger’s Club Past its Prime?

The Art Show has been hosted by the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) for the last 23 years, reigning supreme as the longest running national art fair. The ADAA consists of 175 galleries but only seventy exhibitors enrolled this year, excluding stunners like Andrea Rosen, Betty Cunningham, PPOW and Gavin Brown. A large majority of the participants are located uptown between 50th Street and 90th Street. The generalized content (“cutting-edge, 21st century works” and “museum quality pieces from the 19th and 20th centuries”) and my fears of dated academia prepped me for the deflated viewing that was The Art Show. The ADAA’s Executive Director spoke to the “calm and intimate atmosphere” of The Art Show. Although the Park Avenue Armory’s soaring “balloon shed” construction is partially responsible, the cavalcade of elderly patrons weren’t exactly rambunctious. The air-kisses exchanged between crotchety senior citizens summoned a swinger’s club way past its prime.

Which Installation Artists Are Actually Green?

Inspired by the closing of Ai Weiwei’s “Sunflower Seeds” installation due to health hazards, I’ve been writing about how environmental impact is factored in to the evaluation of installation art. Does a work of art have to have a low carbon footprint to be great, or should we completely separate a piece from the cost of its production?

To start off the debate, I want to explore a few works of installation art that could be considered environmentally friendly and evaluate what impact they have, both environmental and artistic.

Evaluating Installation Art, Should Environmental Cost be Considered?

When we talk about art, we rarely talk about its environmental impact. What’s the carbon footprint of manufacturing a fiberglass Jeff Koons versus the making of an Andy Goldsworthy? As opposed to, say, water bottles, the cost of making a work of art rarely factors into how the work is analyzed and accepted. It is not for art critics to ask how many trucks were used to make Spiral Jetty. But why not? At what point do the environmental shifts and changes in the natural order that these pieces require outweigh their artistic value?

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