Material Terrain: A Sculptural Exploration of Landscape and Place

Material Terrain: A Sculptural Exploration of Landscape and Place, is on view at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, until November 27, 2007. The imaginative, John Ruppert, Moon Gourds, 1997-98. Cast copper, cast aluminum, cast ironthought-provoking exhibition features large-scale, mixed-media works by eleven artists who address the uneasy balance between the natural and the constructed environment.

Employing diverse techniques and materials they raise questions about “inside-ness” and “outside-ness.”

Enormous sculptures, composed of surprising materials such as poured fiberglass, polyethelene, aluminum, and even wheat grass, will fill Green and Friends Galleries. Probing myriad associations of landscape and place, the artists reveal the fantasy of nature as a place of retreat and wonder; nostalgia for a pristine pre-industrialized landscape; and desire and eroticism evident in cycles of cultivation, production and consumption. By employing richly symbolic objects they allow us to consider the variety of ways in which we view ourselves in the context of nature.

These days, our intense sensory experiences are more likely to come from electronic media rather than from directly experiencing landscape and its soil, stone, vegetation, water, sky and sound. The scientific advances that allow for genetic engineering and modification of species, the advocates for conservation, farming and logging, and the intense emotions that such issues inspire make the negotiation of our relationship to the planet as urgent as it is complex. Whether through crafting exquisite sculptural forms, imbuing work with irony or danger, or representing nature with startling verisimilitude, the selected artists create a malleable terrain that attests to nature’s astonishing power and vitality. Material Terrain is a visually enticing and mentally stimulating exhibition!

Participating artists are Michele Brody, Kendall Buster, Ming Fay, Donald Lipski, Dennis Oppenheim, Roxy Paine, Wendy Ross, John Ruppert , Valeska Soares, James Surls, and Ursula von Rydingsvard.

Curated by Carla M. Hanzal, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Mint Museums, Charlotte, NC. Exhibition Organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC in collaboration with the Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MO, with support from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation.

For more information, call (305) 284-3535 or visit

Material Terrain: A Sculptural Exploration of Landscape and Place will travel to the following museums next year.

Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, WA
January 2008 – May 2008

Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
July 2008 – October 2008

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