This area of the Museum's website is reserved for the use of media professionals. If you are an editor or journalist who wishes to receive press releases as soon as they are issued, please join our media list.
DELAWARE ART MUSEUM PRESENTS
CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE GARDEN—DECEITS AND FANTASIES
Wilmington, DE (May 31, 2007)—The Delaware Art Museum presents Contemporary Photography and the Garden—Deceits and Fantasies, on view from June 23 through September 16, 2007. This exhibition brings together varied responses to the physical structure, atmosphere, and symbolism of the garden as represented in the work of 16 American and European artists. Their depictions of gardens range from tranquil havens to places of tension where exquisite beauty seems to coexist uneasily with inexorable forces of nature. Contemporary Photography and the Garden—Deceits and Fantasies is organized by the American Federation of Arts.
“Because gardens are works of art, designed with their own vistas and points of interest, it’s surprisingly difficult to take an interesting photograph of a garden—to create something evocative or atmospheric that goes beyond replicating the garden itself,” said Heather Campbell Coyle, Associate Curator for the Delaware Art Museum. “These photographers have produced striking images that honor the beauty of their garden subjects, while creating something independent of them.”
Some of the artists exult in the lyrical beauty, sculptural forms, and luxuriant atmosphere of the garden. Others subvert the idea of the garden as a symbol of benign nature; their images play against the notion of a garden as an idyllic site for the pursuit of pleasure and provide a dark visual metaphor for the manipulation of nature. Highlights include a room-sized installation by Peter Fischli and David Weiss and works specially commissioned for the exhibition from Sally Mann and Catherine Opie.
People are not depicted Deceits and Fantasies, yet the human presence is palpable nonetheless; the artists all explore the garden as a site where human desires and aspirations are imprinted on the landscape. Gardens become a symbol of humanity’s uneasy, at times antagonistic, relationship to nature. In the remarkable photographs presented here, the artists distill the very essence of the garden, exploring the relationships between humanity and nature, art and artifice, beauty and decay.
This exhibition is made possible, in part, by a grant from the A.R. Brooks Trust. Additional support is provided by David L. Davies and John D. Weeden and the Founders Circle of the AFA.
A press preview for Contemporary Photography and the Garden—Deceits and Fantasies will be held on Thursday, June 21, at 10:00 a.m. Please RSVP by Monday, June 18.
The Delaware Art Museum will celebrate Contemporary Photography and the Garden—Deceits and Fantasies with the Summer Solstice Family Day on Sunday, June 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission to this event is free, as admission fees are not charged on Sundays at the Museum. Children and adults will enjoy gallery tours, family T’ai Chi in the Copeland Sculpture Garden, and creative art projects. Visitors will also be able to give the Museum’s studio art classes a try during the Studio Sampler program offered between noon and 2:00 p.m., as they join art instructors in the studios for demonstrations and hands-on projects.
The Cultivated Eye—Brandywine Valley Photographers
As a complement to Contemporary Photography and the Garden—Deceits and Fantasies, the Delaware Art Museum presents The Cultivated Eye—Brandywine Valley Photographers, on view June 1 through October 21, 2007. This exhibition of nature photography, featuring the work of artists from the region, displays a wide range of responses to the natural world and a variety of approaches to the medium of photography. Many of the works in The Cultivated Eye present the local landscape from new perspectives.
About the Museum
The Delaware Art Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday noon – 4:00 p.m. Regular admission is adults (18 – 59) $10, seniors (60+) $8, college students $5, and youth (7 – 17) $3, with children 6 and under entering for free, and admission free to all visitors on Sunday. For more information, call 302-571-9590 or visit the website at http://www.delart.org.
Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum holds a world-renowned collection that focuses on American art and illustration from the 19th to the 21st century as well as the British pre-Raphaelite movement of the mid-19th century. The Museum offers the outdoor Copeland Sculpture Garden, the Helen Farr Sloan Library & Archives, studio art classes, the interactive Kids’ Corner learning area, the delART Café featuring free Wi-Fi access, and the Museum Store with distinctive books and gifts. The pre-Raphaelite collection goes back on view to the public on Sunday, September 23, 2007, for The Return of the Pre-Raphaelites.
IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST