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Hunterdon Art Museum Opens Deconstructing Nature

The Hunterdon Art Museum presents “Deconstructing Nature”, works by Chris Ballantyne, Gregory Euclide, Kim Keever, Dean Monogenis and Voshardt & Humphrey on view October 2, 2011- January 29, 2012.

Deconstructing Nature is a contemporary interpretation of the modern landscape. By examining the essential qualities of nature through an updated lens, new possibilities emerge. The contemporary landscape is less concerned with a strict portrayal of a beach or a mountain and more concerned with a narrative about nature, regardless of the format. Deconstructing Nature features five artists; all with unique points of view on what happens when nature is dissected in order to return it in a different form.

Gregory Euclide, Capture #1, 2009, Acrylic paint, paper, paint can, pencil, pine needles, moss, sedum, sponge, stone, 11 x 13 x 16 in., Collection of Deborah and Peter Smith

The artists in Deconstructing Nature share an interest in nature, but take distinct approaches to capturing it in their work. Chris Ballantyne fuses nature and suburban development in his paintings, finding unusual ways to make these two adversaries interact gracefully. Gregory Euclide uses landscape as a springboard to ethereal and delicate dioramas that befuddle the mind with their complexity. Kim Keever incorporates cotton, twigs, plaster, rocks and pigment to make environments that are submerged in water and then photographed, revealing fictitious landscapes never before seen. Dean Monogenis updates the traditional landscape by including architectural elements in his paintings that comment on the fast-paced need for urban growth, which often intersects with nature. The videos of Robyn Voshardt and Sven Humphrey provide a new commentary on environmentalism while questioning whether the pursuit of the sublime in nature is still able to elicit a visceral response.

Sometimes the need to know how something works requires that it be taken apart and examined before putting it back together. When it comes to nature and specifically to the landscape in art, the artists in Deconstructing Nature have begun this process. With great deference to the phenomenon that is nature, these artists have reconstructed landscapes in ways that are visually more challenging, as well as more representative of what nature means to them. While their work varies in medium and context, it is linked by familiar content that is made new by the artists’ singular perspectives. The artists in Deconstructing Nature have developed their own narratives that bring the viewer to a new place; a place they are unable to find in our natural world.

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