13 October – 14 November 2015
Victoria Miro Gallery II
16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW
Njideka Akunyili Crosby · Verne Dawson · Peter Doig · NS Harsha · Alice Neel · Chris Ofili · Celia Paul · Tal R · Sarah Sze · Kara Walker · Francesca Woodman
Victoria Miro presents Forces in Nature, curated by the celebrated US critic and author Hilton Als. The exhibition explores the idea of man in nature and includes works by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Verne Dawson, Peter Doig, NS Harsha, Alice Neel, Chris Ofili, Celia Paul, Tal R, Sarah Sze, Kara Walker, and Francesca Woodman.
In his introduction to the catalogue, Als writes about the exhibition’s premise: ‘In her great poem about the sea, A Grave (1916-18), the American poet Marianne Moore wrote: “It is human nature to stand in the middle of a thing/but you cannot stand in the middle of this.” For centuries creators ranging from Casper David Friedrich to contemporary masters like the artists in this show have sought to represent man’s interesting, vexed, and insoluble relationship to the natural world. Forces in Nature celebrates and questions the male form or its absence in paintings, photographs, drawings, film and installation. Does nature mean more to us when seen against the background of the human form? Or do we understand a landscape or seascape more acutely when the form is absent? Do women artists want to “stand in the middle of a thing” as defiantly as male artists? And how much of our understanding of nature is, by now, filtered through the experience of the modern world, with its focus on representation or documentation as opposed to directly “felt” experience? Forces in Nature is not only a celebration of these questions but an examination of them.’
Forces in Nature, an illustrated catalogue with texts by Hilton Als, accompanies the exhibition.
About Hilton Als:
Als is an acclaimed writer who is the chief theatre critic for The New Yorker magazine and author of the books The Women and White Girls. His honours include a Guggenheim fellowship and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. Desdemona for Celia by Hilton, a collaboration between Hilton Als and Celia Paul, is currently showing at Gallery MET at The Metropolitan Opera in New York until 2 January 2016. The exhibition is presented on the occasion of the Met’s season-opening new production of Verdi’s Otello. Christopher Knowles: In a Word, co-curated by Hilton Als, is currently on view at The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, until 27 December.