A Country in the Mind
Using line, scale, and color, the works in this exhibition draw attention to selected aspects of an immense genre in contemporary painting: landscape. These painted landscapes of the horizon have great potential to blur distinctions between the world and our idea of the world, shaped by our own perspectives. Art historian Dave Hickey said of landscape art, “It is so attractive at a primitive personal and cultural level … that it is always difficult to decide whether a work is true to itself or only true to some old echoes within myself, some resonant private mythology.”
Jane Freilicher visually frames the experience and impact of a horizon in her painting Red Ground (1989), by showing distinct foreground, middle, and background through a screen-like format. Keith Jacobshagen explores the expansiveness and theatricality of the landscape in an almost cinematic way in Dog Days (Platte Valley) (1989), with its impressive scale and prominent expanse of sky. In both these works and others in the exhibition, the artists harness the immensity of landscapes and extract the uncanny visual qualities they elicit, creating for each viewer a country in the mind.