Art Nature Dialogues: Interviews With Environmental Artists by John K. Grande

By John K. Grande

Paintings Nature Dialogues bargains interviews with artists operating with, in, and round nature and the surroundings. The interviews discover paintings practices, ecological matters, and values as they pertain to the siting of works, using fabrics, and the ethics of artmaking. John okay. Grande comprises interviews with Hamish Fulton, David Nash, Bob Verschueren, herman de vries, Alan Sonfist, Nils-Udo, Michael Singer, Patrick Dougherty, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and others.

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Guns and Rosettes, 1995–98. Poznan, Poland. Courtesy of the artist. 37 Ephemeral Public Art sign and haphazard conjunction of materials—an old VW, tree clippings— encourages further reflection on so-called official monuments and their supposed permanence and immortality. Recycling an abandoned burnt-out Volkswagen beetle, bringing it into Battery Park, clothing it in tree clippings and branches donated by the New York City park management, and clothing it with tree branches, you created a work that comments on the speed of modern life.

JG Do you expect to do anymore planted works? Do you have any future projects that involve living elements? DN I am very wary to do anything that is far away from where I live. When I take on a contract to do one, it is a five-year or ten-year period. I am paid half when I do it, and I am paid in increments a fifth of the remaining on each return visit. Then I have a carrot to get me there. I know I have a budget that pays to get me there. JG What sort of feeling do you have when you are working, when you are carving or making a piece?

JG In Yardwork there is this sense of containment, enhanced by the swirling form that goes around the seven towers in the piece. This makes it somewhat unique from previous works you have done. PD After taking full measure of the space at La Gabelle, I decided that seven twenty-foot upright forms girdled by a kind of flying fence would provide the right scale for this place. Unlike the sunny winter weather of my own home state of North Carolina, it snows here at La Gabelle in winter. And so I used the cinching action of the outer belt to help consolidate and protect the overall structure against the elements.

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