One hand in the sciences and one in the arts, the work of Agnes Denes also encompasses everything in between.
An environmental poet who brings a universal message to life through her striking displays, Denes is an artist who helped initiate the ecological awareness movement. Her conceptual artwork is a mix of social sciences and conservation, and she can be contributed to being one of the first to introduce science into the art world.
She is known for her hundreds of exhibitions and gallery showings, as well as her in your face, large scale visual field displays.
In 1968 she combined art, nature and ecological consciousness in Rice/Tree/Burial, which evolved from her deepening concern for environmental matters. Set in Sullivan County, New York, it was a private, evocative demonstration which pioneered her environmentally involved art installations. It was her introduction to Eco-Logic, a coin she termed meaning to act in an eco-philosophical way.
Another well-known piece was Wheatfield—A Confrontation. This vast exhibit installed in 1982 was actually a 2 acre wheat field that was implanted right in the downtown area of Manhattan, New York.
Looking colorfully out of place next to the busy cityscape, it was formed in response to the route that humans have taken, which is not in accord with a natural way of living. In seemingly advancing into modernization, Denes reminded that we need to keep our direction in check.
Another illustration of her insightfulness was in 1996, Tree Mountain—A Living Time Capsule, which was set in in Finland. This was an intricate futuristic piece that she stated was not about the human ego, but was done to acknowledge the global ecological upset that was in motion. She has also implanted other versions of time capsules in other areas.
Another natural display in the same vein as the Wheatfield showing was the planting of 6000 endangered trees in 1998 in Melbourne, Australia.
She has many other works that speak volumes of the natural world and our place in it, as well as how we choose to affect it.
Her examinations into how we exist, how societal values evolve or regress have brought many issues to light by comparing them to their counterparts, or presenting them in such a way that the message simply cannot be ignored.
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