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The relationship of art and Nature has always been one of great import. For Leonardo it was central to his study of the world, the great design teacher and photographer Karl Blossfeldt used it as a template for all design. By 1950, Jackson Pollock could declare simply "I am nature." These approaches to nature –analyzing, studying as a template and finally becoming- are all active approaches in the contemporary vocabulary of the art world. The simplicity and arrogance of Pollock's statement, its undeniable truth, seems to underlie much of what todayıs artists understand as a starting point. Perhaps it is what pushed DaVinci as well as Blossfeldt.
 

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      Within the context of artistic production, the push toward abstraction and the pull to verisimilitude, have often worked in contradiction. In this dichotomous relationship one chose either realism or the abstract. In the all-embracing arms of nature and natural forms, one can proceed immediately and simultaneously toward both. In the work of so many of the great abstract artists, the relationship to the natural has been often so evident as to require no articulation. At the same time understanding works of art in purely formal terms, seeing the representational as abstract, was indeed one of the fundamental transformations brought on by Manet and his followers.      
             
      After the end of the Modern, the vocabulary of Modernism was no longer the only voice, as it had seemed for the one hundred years previous. Artists could articulate their ideas in Modernist, pre-Modernist or even a-Modernist terms and still be loosely defined within the term "Contemporary" (this often given the term Post-Modern as a catch-all phrase denoting so much it almost meant nothing at all...). Within this great open-ness one response has been a return to nature. While nature has always remained a constant source of inspiration, throughout the Modern period, it has hardly been as fecund as in the present. Artists of all types and media seem to refer to and venture into nature on a regular basis. In the disparate collection of works included here, we can see a small sampling of this return.      
             
 

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The artists in "Revisioning Nature" work with nature as a common starting point but have each come to quite separate conclusions. For some, such as Melanie baker, Mel Pekarsky and Jorge Diezma, the end is a near photographic representation of a place, an animal, a plant. For others, such as Matthew Sutherlin, Nancy Goldenberg and Inmaculada Abarca, it is a playful twist on the known. For Begonia Santa Cecilia, Casey Ruble, Jason Paradis and Todd McCollister it is a beginning point that leads to a personal abstraction, whether formal or narrative. In each case what can be seen is a small example of what might be understood as a return to the natural decades after the purity of Modernism made representations of visual likeness to nature anathema to the "true" creative spirit of the Modern Artist.

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