All Exhibitions

Novel Ecosystems, A Group Exhibition

Apr 19–Jul 7, 2024

The Gallery

Nature and Ecology -
As art became more and more about concept into the second half of the 20th century, artists like Robert Smithson and Walter DeMaria began to think about the natural world as a canvas for the creation of art. Many artists since have expanded on the contributions of these so-called “Earth Artists” to make work that investigates the collision of nature and culture in ever more complex ways. Issues around ecology, technology, and the future of human civilization have now become fodder for artistic exploration. Saint Kate’s current cycle of exhibitions features artists who use the natural world as a source of inspiration, engaging viewers in an examination of how human culture and the natural world co-exist in interesting and peculiar ways.

Jennifer Angus
Nina Katchadourian
Gregory Klassen
Katherine Clark Langlands

A project from the Environmental Performance Agency

Novel Ecosystems is a term coined to describe human-engineered transformed environments that have arisen in the period known as the Anthropocene, an age in which human activity is the defining influence on the land. This exhibition examines the idea of human-engineered ecosystems from a broader standpoint, recognizing the artist’s role and agency in the world. As we enter the spring of our year, and celebrate another Earth Day, we have assembled artists whose work explores the relationship between the natural world and humanity’s place within it. The exhibition examines how unique and idiosyncratic perspectives on human impact on nature can lead to a healthier relationship with it. Jennifer Angus’s work with insects begs one to look at often overlooked organisms closer and in new ways, hopefully with a deeper respect for their complexity and importance. Nina Katchadourian explores the impact of human society on nature across disciplines and points of view, with a dry and critical sense of dark humor. Greg Klassen brings together painting and the natural processes of decomposition with an ashes-to-ashes sensibility that brings a deep humility to his creative output. Katherine Clark Langlands combines found driftwood and action painting as a way to bring the vastly different creative timelines of nature and human creativity into powerful contact. The Environmental Performance Agency looks at the artistic form of administration and outreach as content to increase awareness and sensitivity to environmental issues. Human society and nature are in constant contact today, creating bizarre, beautiful, profound, and troubling interactions. This exhibition aims to encourage the recognition of Novel Ecosystems in all contexts so that we can be more informed and curious stewards the natural world.

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