The typical landscape painter of the past depicted a seemingly unspoilt nature. From the very beginning, nature provided the backdrop on which gods and heroes were represented. A genre developed out of this in which nothing but nature was transferred onto the canvas. The expression ‘landscape’ denoted this art form, and was originally used when referring to Dutch paintings depicting natural settings. Thus from nature, culture was derived. A distinction was made between human and nature, and painting helped fortify the division between the two. The landscape became a sort of canvas upon which the artistic play of humanity was set.
Today we are acutely aware that climate change leaves no landscape untouched. Human life and the subsequent impact we have on the world are a deeply rooted part of the environment. We can no longer distance ourselves from nature, depicting it from afar. What does this imply for the future of landscape painting as a genre? And above all else, what can contemporary landscape painting mean for the environment it portrays? With this exhibition, Bonniers Konsthall sets out to grasp questions related to our historical and current relationship to nature via the artistic genre of landscape painting. Alongside historical work the exhibition shows a number of contemporary artists, all tackling the tradition of landscape painting in some way, and focusing their attention on nature and the environment. The exhibition offers us the chance to face our currently disappearing landscape, to see how it appears and how it is expressed. At times, the current climate catastrophe is obvious. At other times, not at all.