Contemporary nature art works from all corners of the world. Inspired and defined by nature, by life on and in earth, as well as by the continual and reciprocal relationship between man and his environment. This thought-provoking relationship is placed at the centre of the exhibition.
The borderlines in art history are at times bound to be vague. As culture was perceived to have come into its own, the ancient phenomenon of nature art (see Stonehenge) was defined as one of the main branches of the fine arts, associated with body and environmental art – genres in which the mediums carry art itself – while retaining openness to other ideas. Our most ordinary signs, such as a spiral or a hexagon, are forms borrowed from nature in the broadest meaning of the word.
Is isolation that has dominated art for centuries and is only lifted when artists go out into nature – the last time in the middle of the 20th century – the result of our scientific concepts? And is it actually art that does not incorporate the whole world and all its contexts?
Nature is enriched by nature art only temporarily (no need to fear ‘overpopulation’). The works are transient with old ones disappearing, albeit with new ones continuously replacing them. So will embracing nature engender a trust of life in us enabling us to accept transience and the infinity inherent in it? Will regarding the universality of nature make us able to repeat ‘supplications’ or the act of adorning a riverbank? Forgotten rites, the humanities, and the wide range of sciences studying nature and practicing its archaeology suggest we can since nature does it too.
Artists from England, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, the USA, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Japan, Iran, Iceland, Poland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia, Spain, New Zealand and Indonesia will exhibit their works at our show, many of them making them here in Budapest. The works arriving from Hungarian, neighbouring and distant locations differ in their geological and regional characteristics at best weaving together the human and the natural through their understanding and complementing of changing nature, inserting them into the tissue of culture. The exhibition is divided into several chapters. “Small Gestures” presents important works by international and Hungarian contemporary nature art, while “Nature Alliance” reviews the events that led up to nature art in Hungary, and “Eco-avantgarde” is an inspiring Iranian section exploring the relationship between art and the living environment today. Many of our guests are acclaimed worldwide, including Bob Verschueren from Belgium and Nils-Udo from Germany, whose nature art works, now referred to as classics, are familiar to Hungarian audiences from previous exhibitions.
Works installed outside the walls of the Kunsthalle but forming an integral part of the exhibition include nature art works to be seen in the garden of the Gödöllő Applied Arts Workshop, and Alois Lindenbauer’s Growing Boat in the park of the Nádasdy Palace in Nádasdladány.
The curators of the exhibition are John K. Grande (Canada-Romania), Katalin Keserü and Mahmoud Maktabi (Iran).
The exhibition and the accompanying high standard catalogue with writings by several authors are devoted to the unity of nature, art, culture and the world – a unity so easily forgotten today.