Natural Selection 2.0 officially opens this morning, here at Dakota State. We asked Professor and Gallery Director Alan Montgomery to offer us some insight and prospective into the thinking behind this massive exhibition. Here we go….
Destry Sparks artist and curator of Natural Selection 2.0, has brought together artists from around the United States and from Brussels, Belgium. The title of the exhibition signifies the common ground shared by the group. The overarching concept is contemporary art meets nature. It is art that derives its physical material, its form, and its content from nature and natural phenomenon. It is not just the use of natural materials, but in how each artist regards the natural world through mediation of material and form.
Surface and texture are important for these artists in articulating the abstract core of the natural world. The abstract nature of nature is underscored by much of the work in the exhibition. Some artists depict nature as a metaphysical experience; others offer a vision of intimate personal relationships in which explanations are left for the viewer to contemplate.
Unlike a lot of contemporary art, the artists in Natural Selection 2.0 seem less occupied with heavy-handed art theory. But it is certain that the artists in Natural Selection 2.0 are taking positions in terms of how their work reflects larger questions of existence, temporality, and our relationship to nature…themes that have occupied human beings from the beginning.
Natural Selection 2.0 runs from February 1st through April 1st within the newly renamed First Bank & Trust Gallery, which is located within the Karl E. Mundt Library and Learning Commons of Dakota State University. A reception is scheduled for Monday, March 14th within the Mundt Foundation located within the lower level of the Mundt Library. The exhibition and reception are free and open to everyone, and the public is encouraged to attend.