Mankind is the only species on Earth to have mastered nature. For thousands of years, this was a domination of the predators rejoicing in their power. Fortunately, human beings began to develop empathy in relation to nature; they recognised its pain, sensitivity and beauty. Some hundred years ago the reflection came that the existence of the human species depends closely on the state of the natural environment. Exploitation of nature gradually shifted towards seeking a balance. This slow process says a lot about our species. No wonder that it has also become an important forum of artistic commentary.
The exhibition Nature in Art includes contemporary works by more than 70 artists from many countries, ranging from painting, photography and video to object and installation. The exhibition has been divided into five parts: beauty, ecology, confrontation, matter and symbol.
In works related to beauty artists eternalise picturesque views, imitate processes that take place in nature, evoke the sensation of being in the presence of nature and provide scope for the contemplation of its perfection. Ecology focuses on concern for the predicament of the natural environment, and action on behalf of the preservation of nature but also apocalyptic vis. Confrontation revolves around the clash – or integration – of the artist with the forces of nature, human endeavours to face up to its challenge and comparing their respective strengths as well as making nature part of the creative process. Matter relies on the artists employing organic elements and creating representations that rely on accurate rendition of the structure and expression of the given surface. Symbol predominantly refers to representations of animals that illustrate human stances and characteristics.