Tuesday, August 15, 2006

View of Notre Dame

Back in 1999 Art News did a list of the ’25 Most Influential Artists’ of the twentieth century. These were: Beuys, Bourgeois, Brancusi, Dali, Duchamp, De Kooning, Judd, Kandinsky, Le Corbusier, Malevich, Man Ray, Matisse, Mies Van Der Rohe, Mondrian, Nauman, Monet, Paik, Picasso, Pollock, Rauschenberg, Sherman, Smithson, Stieglitz, Warhol and Frank Lloyd Wright. It seems a reasonable list to me, although worth bearing in mind perhaps that Louise Bourgeois was much talked about when the list was compiled. It is possible to find some connection to landscape in any of these artists, but here are a few specific links mentioned in the Art News article:

  • Henri Matisse’s View of Notre Dame (1914) was a source for some of Robert Motherwell’s Open series. Matisse was also an inspiration for Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series.
  • Similarly, Claude Monet’s landscapes and water lilies led towards semi-abstract and abstract paintings, although his Water Lilies can also be seen as precursors of the sensory spaces created by artists like Walter De Maria and James Turrell.
  • Constantin Brancusi’s minimalist sculptures and his monuments at Târgu Jiu prefigure more recent art in the landscape, like Carl Andre’s Secant installation and the lines walked by Richard Long.
  • Clearly Frank Lloyd Wright has influenced landscape architecture, for example the environmentally sensitive designs of William McDonough.
  • Finally, Robert Smithson’s multi-facetted work leads to and from landscape in various ways. Projects by Mel Chin (Revival Field), Mierle Ukeles (Flow City) and Michael Singer and Linnea Glatt (Phoenix Solid Waste Management Facility) all relate back to Smithson’s proposals for an art of land reclamation.
Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1973 

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