Shades of black and white: Mandeville exhibit interprets the natural world

Publication Date

A new exhibit in the Mandeville Gallery, “Of Weeds and Wildness: Nature in Black & White,” opening today, Jan. 13, features 17 contemporary artists working in black and white to explore the natural world.

Their art encompasses a range of styles, approaches and mediums, including photographs, prints, drawings and digital works.

Robert Adams's "Untitled"

Robert Adams's "Untitled"

“The show reveals the richly expressive qualities of black and white and the unlimited power of this limited palette to evoke and express complex and multi-layered ideas about the human relationship with nature,” said Mandeville Gallery Director Rachel Seligman, who curated the show with Sally Apfelbaum, a photographer, curator and educator, based in New York City, with a studio in Bennington, VT.

“Through their work, these artists have approached the natural world in nuanced, intriguing and sometimes disquieting ways.”

Among the artists is Desirée Alvarez, whose installation piece evoking a “nomadic” landscape explores the human relationship to the disappearing wilderness.

Harold Edgerton is a major figure in the development and application of stop motion photography. He spent time as an electrical engineer at General Electric in Schenectady before moving to Cambridge, Mass., to attend MIT, where he later taught and conducted research.

Hedya Klein’s quirky etchings and digital animation of biomorphic, organic forms are filled with exuberant energy and playfulness.

And Union’s own Charles Steckler, professor of theater, is a consummate draftsman whose extraordinary “doodles” evoke biological micro-landscapes.

Other featured artists include: Robert Adams, the late Union artist-in-residence Arnold Bittleman, Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Gober, William Kentridge, Danny Lyon, Abelardo Morell, Margaret Moulton, Michelle Segre, James Siena, Kiki Smith and Kate Temple.

Seligman and Apfelbaum will host an informal lunchtime curators’ tour at the Nott on Tuesday, Jan. 18. Visitors can drop by any time between noon and 2 p.m.

In addition, Alvarez, Klein, Steckler and Temple will take part in an exhibition reception and gallery talk on Thursday, Feb. 10. 5-7 p.m.

The show runs through March 13.