Drawn to Nature
Murray Dwertman Human Dam 2010 digital video
July 16 - October 2 2011
In the early 19th century, a group of artists fled their studios in New York City during the summer and traveled north by steamboat, sketching and painting the picturesque scenery of the Hudson River Valley. Led by painter Thomas Cole, these artists became collectively known as the “Hudson River school” and explored American nature as a resource to invent a landscape tradition distinct from Europe. Following in the footsteps of this movement in the Northeast, artists ventured west and discovered the sublime vistas of the Rocky Mountains and Yosemite. Drawn to Nature touches on a panorama of landscapes included under the American Romanticism umbrella. Broken down into the quintessential examples of maritime, desert, seasonal, and trees--the exhibit marks an adventurous shift in American art.
To demonstrate the lasting influence of the 19th century naturalists, Drawn to Nature sets into motion with a contemporary video projection by Kentucky-born installation and performance artist Murrary Dwertman. Akin to the 19th century painters, Dwertman traded his four-walled New York studio for natural outdoor sites that present unpredictable sets of variables. Heavily influenced by Land art, environmental concepts, and childhood explorations, his installations and immersive events play out in remote locations where he becomes both engineer and facilitator of experiential propositions for himself as well as participant. “Human Dam” was created in July of 2010 in Hudson River Valley’s Shekomeko Creek.