Stranger Than Paradise
This presentation of works, from ancient Greek pottery to contemporary objects, considers the changing—and often unusual—relationships humans have with the natural world. Early examples depict forests and fields as backdrops for hunting scenes or for mythological icons. Paintings by Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Surrealist Wifredo Lam suggest significantly different notions of communion between people and nature. More recent paintings, sculptures, and photographs further explore this unsettled and complicated relationship and reflect on the destruction of the very environment that sustains us. Other works in this gallery and elsewhere in the museum—for example, Paul Morrison’s Exine mural—offer a range of perspectives between these concepts, and identify nature as a force of empowerment or as a way to escape an increasingly technologized and industrialized world.
Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art
The RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.