Online viewing room
|April 16 – June 12, 2020||View here|
Working symbiotically with nature and the elements, Sam Falls’ artworks are ingrained with a sense of place specific to their creation while also conveying a universal mortality. At the core of his practice, Falls engages the essential elements of photography –namely time, representation, and exposure – to create works that dissolve the divide between the artist, object, and audience. With a reverence toward art history, Falls empathetically blurs the lines between artistic modalities, from modern dance and minimalist painting to conceptual photography and land art, boiling it down to the fundamentals of nature and the transience of life that art best addresses.
Sublimating the natural world in works that both defy and embrace the basic functions of art, Falls’ works record specific moments in time as well as the infinite human impulse to commune with nature. Falls brings large sheets of canvas into the deepest corners of America’s national parks, covering them with dry pigments and arranging bracken and found flora to create intricate patterns. These arrangements are then left exposed to the elements, where dewdrops, mist, rain, sun and atmosphere activate the pigments. This process, similar to a photogram, records not only the formal qualities of the plant life, but also a semblance of the psychological and climatic substrata that constitute a tenuous definition of ‘place.’ These works point to the inescapable omnipresence of the natural world in our lives outside society – the circadian rhythms and innate formal reflexes that determine what might be interpreted as beautiful, optimistic, pleasing, virtuous, ominous, or frightening. That nature itself has been perhaps the most pervasive concern of art since the beginning of mark-making should be no surprise.