Nature as Artifice: New Dutch Landscape in Photography and Video Art

Thursday, September 10, 2009–Thursday, October 15, 2009

In keeping with the golden age of Dutch landscape painting four hundred years ago, a new visual statement on the landscape has emerged from the Netherlands. Expressed through the modern mediums of photography and video art, this new imagining of the Dutch landscape is urbanized and altered, depicting the Netherlands as the most artificial country in the world.

Coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson to New York Harbor aboard the Dutch vessel Halve Maen, Aperture Gallery is pleased to present the New York debut of Nature as Artifice: New Dutch Landscape in Photography and Video Art, curated by Maartje van den Heuvel, a major survey of new work by contemporary Dutch artists who, over the past twenty years, have taken contemporary Holland as their point of departure. The exhibition opened at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York—its first venue in the United States—on June 13, 2009, and will remain on view there through August 16, 2009. The Aperture Gallery exhibition of Nature as Artifice is made possible, in part, by the Mondriaan Foundation and the Consulate General of the Netherlands.

Affected by a global reordering of production and industry, the agrarian function of the Dutch landscape is making way for suburbanization, recreation, industrial and business parks, and transportation infrastructure. “The country is in the throes of a continual process of spatial planning and reorganization,” said Maartje van den Heuvel. “The radically artificial nature of things like greenhouses, waterworks, polders with gleaming new designer cities, and geometrically patterned nature areas… often imbue the Dutch landscape with a distinctive visual appeal.”

The exhibition features the work of Hans Aarsman, Wout Berger, Henze Boekhout, Driessens & Verstappen, Marnix Goossens, Arnoud Holleman, Gert Jan Kocken, Jannes Linders, Cary Markerink & Theo Baart, Hans van der Meer, Gábor Ösz, Bas Princen, Xavier Ribas, Gerco de Ruijter, Frank van der Salm, Hans Werlemann, and Edwin Zwakman.

Nature as Artifice originally opened in June 2008 at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands, and later traveled to the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, Germany.