Badlands at Mass MOCA

Anthony Goicolea, Tree Dwellers, 2004. COurtesy MASS MOCA.

Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape is currently on view at MASS MOCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art).  The exhibition considers the traditions of landscape painting and picks up the thread with work that addresses contemporary ideas of exploration, population of the wilderness, land usage, environmental politics and the relativity of aesthetic beauty.

The artists in the show include, among others, Vaughn Bell, Center for Land Use Interpretation, Joe Smolinski, Nina Katchadourian, Alexis Rockman, Anthony Goicolea, and Season 4’s Robert Adams.  In ways harking back to history and dismissing it altogether, each re-invents the genre of landscape painting while addressing current anxieties over the human-effected environment.

“From the earliest renderings on cave walls, man has been compelled to depict the world around him…Badlands comes at this critical time, an era when the world is more ecologically aware yet more desperately in need of solutions than ever before.”