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An Artificial Wilderness

Rosemary Laing Australian, born 1959, groundspeed (Rose Petal) #17, 2001, Chromogenic color print, Alexander A. Goldfarb Contemporary Art Acquisition Fund, 2006.26.1, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

An Artificial Wilderness: The Landscape in Contemporary Photography
August 31, 2013 – February 23, 2014

Man’s impact on the natural landscape took the form of construction, destruction, and intervention in the photographic imagery of An Artificial Wilderness: The Landscape in Contemporary Photography. The exhibition’s title borrows a phrase from the W. H. Auden poem The Shield of Achilles (1952), referring to modern society’s passive stance toward the decline of human values, and its disregard for the physical world.

An Artificial Wilderness presented altered landscapes from around the globe through diverse works dating from the 1960s to the present by prominent photographers with distinctive styles, including Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Claire Beckett, Frank Breuer, Edward Burtynsky, Olafur Eliasson, Andy Goldsworthy, Rosemary Laing, Louise Lawler, Ana Mendieta, Ed Ruscha, Sandy Skoglund, Doug and Mike Starn, and James Welling.