In Cloud Country
29 March – 30 June 2013
Works on paper from across the centuries that take the natural world as inspiration.
Harewood opens its 2013 season with a thematic exhibition of works by Constable, Cotman, Henry Moore, Rachel Whiteread and others.
The show is jointly curated by the Whitechapel Gallery's Iwona Blazwick and Diane Howse, Countess of Harewood. The pair first met when they studied art together in Exeter.
Blazwick says of the inspiration behind the show: 'In her poem Two Campers in Cloud Country Sylvia Plath notes the indifference of the natural world ‘…where trees and clouds… pay no notice.’ Generations of artists have been similarly inspired to make observations from nature which have lead them to formal or symbolic abstraction ... The great 18th century watercolourist John Sell Cotman uses pencil to capture the dynamism of light falling on trees by a riverbank, while the fleeting volumes of cumulous clouds are trapped by John Constable in his intense oil studies.
'Henry Moore uses the branches of a tree to make vein-like traceries of lines while Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone uses drawing to resurrect the tree that has been subsumed in a domestic plank of wood. Whether it’s atmospheric phenomena, the linear or textural qualities of the botanical world or their political and metaphoric potential, artists’ studies from nature offer a breathtaking range of abstractions.’