InEarth will be on view during Ruptures, an exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center (IA), June 3 through September 3, 2017.
Ruptures will feature the work of nine contemporary artists and one artist collective including Berlinde De Bruyckere, Lauren Fensterstock, Mona Hatoum, Roger Hiorns, Steven Young Lee, Beth Lipman, Cornelia Parker, the Propeller Group, Doris Salcedo, and Anne Wilson. A full-color exhibition catalog will accompany the exhibition with essays by Art Center Senior Curator Alison Ferris and an excerpt from Art Historian Caterina Albano‘s “Fear and Art in the Contemporary World.”
InEarth, a ten-foot tall sculpture made of transparent glass, wood, adhesive, paint and metal, combines the genres of still life and landscape to juxtapose the current age with ages past. Atop InEarth is a fecund landscape depicting early diverging flora including a variety of pteridophytes and cycadophyta as well as extinct flora such as sphenophyllum (alive from the Devonian to Triassic periods) and barinophyton (alive from the Devonian to the Carboniferous periods). The tallest plant, a cycad, pierces the table and descends to the floor, transforming into a Doric column. There it anchors a still life composition which includes cards, bottles, musical instruments, coins, books, bricks, and a partial lowering device for caskets.
InEarth continues research begun at the Department of Paleobiology and Department of Botany at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC during a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. The work ensued explores the age of the Anthropocene, known as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.