1 of 24


"Through a combination of forms, ten artists explore the contemporary aspects of landscape, and their unique relationship to this subject as their work's content."

Scape was a 10-person group exhibition hosted by the Nicole Villeneuve Gallery in Chicago, IL from December 2010-January 2011. The exhibition featured the work of Morgan Carter, Jan Christopher-Berkson, Susanna Coffey, Chinatsu Ikeda, Adriene Lilly, Shona Macdonald, Aliza Morell, Joseph Noderer, Hao Ni, and Betany Porter and was curated by the artist Daniel Schmid.


Landscape is not a natural thing. Rather it is an artificial phenomenon- a man-made idea. This is both true in theory, literally in terms of art featuring illusionist elements of landscape, and reality as the natural world is frequently a modified one from the impacts of man. Nature does not allocate, recognize, or name itself- we do. We interpret and infer meaning on nature. Descriptions of nature being awesome, beautiful, spiritual, enlightening, desolate, powerful, mysterious, etc. are all ideas given by man. Our idea of landscape is comparable to the paradox of, "if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" in that our concept of nature and landscape are largely built around our experience of it- without us, it does not exist. Similarly, would landscape exist without the presence of man and documentation of his experience?

This is ultimately the root of the true nature of landscape (pun intended), for the descriptions we infer on nature are evidence of our experiences of it. More specifically, landscape, as manifested by our experiences, is the relationship of man to nature. It is for this reason that this exhibition is meant to explore the various relationships that are observed between the stylistic juxtaposition of the different works, the relationship between the artist and the subject (why they choose to work with landscape), and the relationship between the work and its context in the greater history of the subject in art. On this last issue, the question is asked as a means of exploring the contemporary aspects of landscape: how is it different or similar to the past? Given that man comes from nature, our apparent continuous return to addressing it in artwork, despite our decreased dependence and interaction with it (our typical experience of nature has gone from hunter-gatherers to primarily a setting for recreational activities- if experienced at all), is something of a marvel in itself.

-Daniel Schmid

*special thanks to Anna Timmerman, Nicole Villeneuve, Valerie Carberry, Linda Warren, and Cynthia Reeves


promotional image, designed by Wyatt Grant

Daniel Joseph Schmid