COLUMBUS, OHIO.- Kicking off a national tour in January, the whimsical and vividly colorful exhibition Landscape Confection features nearly 50 imagined landscapes portrayed in stitched fabric, beads, wax, metal, silk flowers, and other materials. The exhibition, organized by the Wexner Center, brings together 13 emerging and mid-career artists from around the globe, all working in the genre of landscape art in surprising new ways. Landscape Confection is on view through May 1, 2005 at the Wexner Center Galleries at The Belmont Building before traveling to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the Orange County Museum of Art.
Deceptively sweet, Landscape Confection abounds in diverse visual pleasures, says Landscape Confection curator Helen Molesworth, chief curator of exhibitions at the Wexner Center. At the same time, these works push the boundaries of paintings traditional references and sources.
Some of the works in Landscape Confection are derived from topography, others from the realm of fantasy and dreamscape. Some straddle the line between traditional landscape art and abstraction. The artists in the show, many under the age of 40, embrace the idea of the decorative, with influences ranging from naturalist illustrations to impressionism to wallpaper patterns. Rowena Drings Untitled (Water) employs stitched fabric and vibrant colors to render an impressionistic waterfall scene, placing needlework, once disparaged as womens work, into the realm of high art. Neal Rock creates candy-colored bouquets of paint using cake-decorating tools. Ranjani Shettars installation is made of hundreds of beeswax buds connected by dyed thread and is suspended from different points of the ceiling. Other artists in the show, all working in various media, are Pia Fries, Jason Gubbiotti, Jim Hodges, David Korty, Kori Newkirk, Katie Pratt, Michael Raedecker, Lisa Sanditz, Amy Sillman, and Janaina Tschäpe.
A fully illustrated clothback catalogue will accompany the exhibition, with an essay by Molesworth (The Loneliness of the Decorative) and entries on each artist by Associate Curator of Exhibitions Claudine Isé. It will be for sale in the Wexner Center Galleries at The Belmont Building and at the Wexner Center Bookshop.
Following its run in Columbus, Landscape Confection travels to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston July 23September 11, 2005 and to the Orange County Museum of Art February 5May 7, 2006. Helen Molesworth joined the Wexner Center as chief curator of exhibitions in November 2002. She has curated the video art exhibition Image Stream and Work Ethic (a touring show) for the Wexner Center Galleries at The Belmont Building. Prior to joining the Wexner Center, she served as curator of contemporary art at The Baltimore Museum of Art, and her writings have appeared in Art Journal, Frieze, and October. She is the founding editor of Documents, a magazine of contemporary visual culture.