“Ultimately, whether constituted as muse or foil, as contestant or collaborator, nature continues to loom as the elusive, originary Other- a system that we are fundamentally native to but unavoidably separate from; one that produces us, even as we (physically, conceptually, discursively,) produce it.” –Jeffey Kastner
AIRPLANE presents Plein Air, a multi-site group exhibition showcasing eleven artists who investigate the natural world and our collective and subjective experience of it.
Plein Air, in terms of painting, is generally correlated with Romanticism, with landscapes being a primary motif. The movement began in Germany where, driven by a sense of world weariness (“Weltschmerz”), artists attempted to assuage urban isolation by leaving the studio and seeking out a direct communion with the representation of nature.
The works presented in Plein Air challenge the romantic notions traditionally associated with the term’s origins, and call in to question what it means to even address “nature” anymore. When one considers the changing state of the biosphere and its inhabitants, from the influence of a wide range of controversial factors, ie. global climate change, fracking, genetic modification and artificial intelligence, a radically different, contemporary “ weltschmerz “emerges.