The natural world inspires an endless variety of human responses, with some of the most fascinating coming from contemporary artists. For its 69th installment of the Forum series, Carnegie Museum of Art
presents Natural History, a playful exhibition that explores the myriad ways that contemporary artists respond to nature, showing in the museums Forum Gallery July 28October 14, 2012. Organized by Dan Byers, The Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Natural History showcases more than two dozen contemporary artworks in a variety of media from the museum collection, including several that are on view for the first time. The Forum Gallery is situated at the nexus of two museumsCarnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Museum of Natural Historythat share a common facility. For Byers, this physical location is the ideal venue to explore these two ways of knowing and navigating the world. While the Museum of Natural Historys rigorously scientific narratives display, clarify, and explain the wondrous complexity of nature, the artworks in Natural History often creatively obscure, reveling in this complexity and aiming for different kinds of truths.
The exhibition also marks the museums debut of Valeska Soaress Horizontes, a grand-scale work consisting of repurposed wooden boxes, aligned to create a horizon over 40 feet long. Horizontes, which was acquired in 2010, reflects the museums growing engagement with Latin American art, a particular interest of director Lynn Zelevansky. Hanging nearby, fellow Brazilian Beatriz Milhazess swirling, organic painting Nazareth des Farinhas pulses with lively colors.
Natural History seeks to foster unexpected, energetic relationships in the interplay of these artworks, each responding to questions posed by the changing ways in which human beings interact with their environments. To invigorate this cross-disciplinary experience, scientists at Carnegie Museum of Natural History have responded in kind, placing and interpreting replicas of the same artworks in their own galleries.