Environmental Art

What indelibly links our work to contemporary environmental art is a mutual concern with landscape. Moving away from the eighteenth and nineteenth century traditions of landscape painting in which nature became a spectacle, a visual field for the arrangement of objects, or a setting for subjects, a concern with landscape has become manifested in a radically new manner in what has become known as 'environmental' or 'ecological art' or, put more simply, 'art in nature.' We want to try and provide a brief review since many directions in our work have been directly and indirectly influenced by this development, and should be understood in relation to it.

For the past four decades this environmental art has taken a large variety of different forms. Modifying Ross's (1993) typology we define below six overlapping categories of environmental or ecological art. Many of the artists named have, of course, produced works which cross-cut this typology at different moments in their careers. Detailed critical discussions of the individual art works and artists are provided in Kepes ed. (1972); Beardsley (1989); Sonfist ed. (1982); Ackling ed. (1987); Tiberghien (1995); Fagone ed. (1996); Davies and Knipe (eds.) (1984); Morland (1988) and in special issues of Art and Design Profile 9 (1994) and Art Journal 51 (1992).