Land art and site specific sculpture - land art uses the environment and its scale as its material. Concrete art is expressed in material itself with which the artist introduces her non-representational objective. Public art can be viewed and accessed by observers.
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Land Art in Finland

ENVIRONMENTAL ART - ART IN THE ENVIRONMENT

Written by Lucien den Arend in 2012 for the book Tämää on Meidän Luontomme (This is our Nature) Eteläsavolainen maisema lasten, nuorten ja ulkomaisten taiteilijoiden silmin (Finnish landscape through the eye of children, youth and international artists).

Displaying art in any environment creates new dimensions for the work of art as well as for the surrounding area. Whether the environment is urban, rural or it has a more natural setting, a dialogue will always emerge. Installing already existing sculptures, sculptors will take the character of the given surroundings into consideration when selecting the optimal placement for their work.

A step further is a situation where it has been made possible for the artist to create a sculpture to maximize its marriage with the surroundings in which it is to be incorporated. Site specific art is custom made for a given location.

Environmental art, on the other hand, is a specific art form which was introduced forty years ago in order to mold the materials of an environment into a work of art. One such a form is land art, which more directly, and primarily, uses natural materials without changing them to raw materials which bear no resemblance to their original state. Land art attracts and includes the viewer to enter it and temporarily be taken up in the work itself. Instead of works of art and viewers simply sharing the same space, environmental artists encompass the viewer within the environment which they have devised. Environmental artists utilize methods and materials that range from earth and stone to water and plants. Light and the climate also add to the art. When I coined the term “environmental sculpture” in 1969 I had made my first work of art consisting of a complete environment, incorporating materials from our environment and not using a sculpture in the traditional sense of the word. During a meeting with Henry Moore we discussed this project and also the gardens of Isamu Noguchi. Moore found that there should be a need to include a sculptural element which was made by the artist; and that he sometimes had difficulty accepting these gardens as sculpture. During the beginning of the nineties a workgroup in Finland was setting up an environmental art foundation for which some photos of my projects were borrowed as examples for this art form. But during the last twenty years the Finnish term “Ympäristötaide” has evolved from its true meaning of “environmental art” to describing the situating of any work of art in more or less natural surroundings. In 2009, together with the art center of Saksala ArtRadius and Mikkeli puisto, I organized an exhibition in Mikkelipuisto – the park of Mikkeli - in Finland, and named it “Ympäristötaide ja Taide Ympäristössä” (Environmental Art and Art in the Environment) to illustrate this divergence of the original significance of the term environmental art.


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