From fantastical worlds to political topologies: a global survey of landscape painting in the 21st century
Although the fact may be surprising to some, landscape painting is positively thriving in the 21st century—indeed, the genre has arguably never felt as vital as it does today. The reasons why, if speculative, surely include our imminent environmental collapse and increasingly digitally mediated existence. Landscape Painting Now is the first book of its kind to take a global view of its subject, featuring more than eighty outstanding contemporary artists—both established and emerging—whose ages span seven decades and who hail from twenty-five different countries.
Through its thematic organization into six chapters—Realism and Beyond, Post-Pop Landscapes, New Romanticism, Constructed Realities, Abstracted Topographies, and Complicated Vistas—the book affords a generous window into the very best of contemporary landscape painting, from Cecily Brown’s sensual, fleshy landscapes to Peter Doig’s magic realist renderings of Trinidad, Maureen Gallace’s serene views of beach cottages and the foaming ocean, David Hockney’s radiant capturings of seasonal change in the English countryside, Julie Mehretu’s dynamically cartographic abstractions, Alexis Rockman’s mural-sized, postapocalyptic dioramas, and far beyond.
Landscape Painting Now features an extensive essay by Barry Schwabsky, art critic for The Nation. Schwabsky’s text weaves throughout the book, tracing the history of landscape painting from its origins in Eastern and Western art, through its transformation in the 20th century, to its present flourishing. Shorter texts by art historians Robert R. Shane, Louise Sørensen, and Susan A. Van Scoy introduce each artist, situating the importance of landscape within their practice and addressing key works. With over 400 color reproductions, including many details, this ambitious survey makes a compelling case for the continued relevance of landscape painting in our time.
Featured artists are Etel Adnan, Francis Alÿs, Hurvin Anderson, Mamma Andersson, Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, Lucas Arruda, Ayman Baalbaki, Jules de Balincourt, Ali Banisadr, Hernan Bas, John Beerman, Amy Bennett, Cecily Brown, Gillian Carnegie, Noa Charuvi, Nigel Cooke, Will Cotton, Cynthia Daignault, Verne Dawson, Vincent Desiderio, Lois Dodd, Peter Doig, Rackstraw Downes, Tim Eitel, Andreas Eriksson, Inka Essenhigh, Richard Estes, Genieve Figgis, Jane Freilicher, Barnaby Furnas, Maureen Gallace, Tim Gardner, Franz Gertsch, Adrian Ghenie, April Gornik, Isca Greenfield-Sanders, Pat de Groot, Daniel Heidkamp, Barkley L. Hendricks, Israel Hershberg, David Hockney, Shara Hughes, Yvonne Jacquette, Merlin James, Yishai Jusidman, Alex Kanevsky, Alex Katz, Anselm Kiefer, Per Kirkeby, Makiko Kudo, Matvey Levenstein, Li Dafang, Liu Xiaodong, Damian Loeb, Antonio López García, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Julie Mehretu, Justin Mortimer, Maki Na Kamura, Jordan Nassar, Silke Otto-Knapp, Celia Paul, Eggert Pétursson, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Neo Rauch, Alexis Rockman, Jean-Pierre Roy, Tomás Sánchez, Lisa Sanditz, Serban Savu, George Shaw, Mark Tansey, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, Wayne Thiebaud, Luc Tuymans, Cinta Vidal, Kay WalkingStick, Corinne Wasmuht, Matthew Wong, Jonas Wood, Lisa Yuskavage and Luiz Zerbini