Summoning the elements, capturing the invisible ties that bind the components of the universe, understanding the processes of erosion, imprinting, crystallisation, revealing the burn of the sun... Since the early 1960s, whether fantasising about dominating the elements or toying with the creative humility of letting things happen, or somewhere in between, several generations of artists have turned to nature and its manifestations.
The approach of these artist-gatherers, who set out to ‘gather’ the wind, light or pollen, stems from experiments focused on capturing natural phenomena, exploring materials’ various states or meticulously observing ostensibly elusive elements.
Yves Klein’s experiments into capturing the ‘momentary states of nature’,
Land art, and Arte povera fascinated by the ‘forces at work’ appear to be key moments in this complicity between the artistic world and the natural realm.
Bringing this experimentation up to date, the works selected for the exhibition outline an ode to impermanence and the emergence of forms ‘assisted’ by nature through various generations of artists. They highlight their persistent attraction to natural processes and to capturing them, while echoing the diversity in contemporary debate on environmental issues. Driven by a keen awareness of the fragility of the natural order, the practices implicitly outline a plea for the environment and an appeal to listen to and sense the secret life of the universe.
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