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Changes in the environment and the shrinking biodiversity aroused the concern of the usual suspects – ecologists and biologists – but not only. These phenomena equally attracted the attention of historians and artists who want to place the consequences of these changes in content and visually depict them.

The term “environmental art” emerged on the art stage. This term has a twofold meaning:

  • In a more general sense, it designates art dedicated to environmental issues or their political, historical or social context. It was initially concentrated in sculpture, breaking the traditional formats, but today it involves all sorts of artistic forms. 
  • The new development added “sustainable” and “green” to environmental art. Entire artistic movements have been formed, such as “Vegetable Art” for instance, that unite artists around the plant world cause. They offer their own interpretation of the on-going phenomena.

Nature appears in art in a variety of forms, from photorealism to abstraction. Art imitates it by trying to visually resemble objects the way they look in reality. Abstract forms are likewise a replica of nature, but they go through one’s own interpretation, the result of study, observation and contemplation of natural phenomena and forms.

Art opens our eyes to the complexity and beauty of the natural world and manages to visualize the complex interactions on humans with nature. Art has the power to educate the viewer on important environmental topics like conservation, sustainability, biodiversity or endangered habitats. The goal is to change people’s mentality about what they consumer, both literally and esthetically.

Artists started researching the visual resources of agricultural science and practice. They are trying to delve into the processes of food and fiber production and attract the interest of their audience to them, especially that of urban people who are not familiar at all. 
Actually, art and agriculture have always been related, ever since the time of pastoral landscapes but only now can one come across a bright red plastic alligator crawling towards the nearby pond on their way to a greenhouse.

At one of the latest editions of Art Basel, the world expo of art galleries, experts and collectors held the discussion “The Artist as a Farmer” (in the literal sense). The idea came from the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas who pointed out that “the future belongs to the countryside”.

Eco Exhibitions in Europe

Biennale 2022

In 2022, three of the most prestigious international exhibitions in the visual arts took place - the Venice Biennale. Istanbul Biennial and Documenta. The themes of environment, agriculture and food production, man's impact on nature and his reconciliation with it ran like a bright red thread through all three art forums and left their mark on the position that contemporary visual art occupies in the modern world.