For centuries, artists have looked to nature for both image and material. As a continued source of exchange, it presents a varied and rich field explored by artists working in all mediums.
Reclaimed: Nature and Place Through Contemporary Eyes offers a look at the work of contemporary American artists who, in representing their experiences, expand our idea of nature, its use and reuse, and lead us to unexpected encounters with the landscapes of this region. With two exceptions, all of the artists included in the exhibition have worked in the Northwest. The views they present are not imagined, but are instead informed by lived experience. Each artist in this exhibition shows us that our relationship to the natural environment is connected to a history of place and to individual experience.
What the pioneers of the nineteenth century sought to discover in the West is not the same search as our own. Through the works in this exhibition, all made after 1970—a century after Albert Bierstadt's Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast—we are reminded that nature is an active subject and a construct that reflects the desires and ambitions of the people who populate the land at a given time and place. With this frame of reference, Reclaimed reflects upon our continued pursuit of acts of renewal, sustained by the unexpected experiences and unforeseen views proffered by these artists.