Why the Landscape?

Is landscape painting relevant in today’s post-digital world? How has landscape painting in America evolved since the 1700s? What painters changed the elements of landscape painting in America in the early twentieth century?

Landscape painting in America is often perceived as a decorative genre, but is it more relevant than some think?

People are still drawn to the Hudson Valley School painters and their vision of America as a new Eden, but in the beginning of the twentieth century, a handful of painters started to experiment with a more internal way of interpreting the natural world. Early abstract landscapes by Arthur Dove, and John Marin are still often misunderstood and during the mid 1950s painters like Wolf Kahn were often not taken seriously by the New York art world because they focused on the landscape.

photos, from top clockwise:

Winthdrop Chandler, detail from over-the-mantel painting. circa 1758

John Marin, Weehawken NJ, 1910

Alex Katz, Pink Sky, 1955