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Fear and Wonder: Sublime Landscapes on Paper—Selections from the Museum’s Collection February 12–August 4, 2019


Robleto - Shadows Evade the Sun I

Dario Robleto, published by Hare and Hound Press, Untitled (Shadows Evade the Sun I), 2012, series of 9 inkjet prints on wove paper with UV protective spray, mounted on mat board, edition 17/25, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by Bill Baldwin at “One Great Night in November, 2016.” © Dario Robleto

Arthur Turner, Dark Window, 2001, watercolor and ink on paper, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by Claire and Doug Ankenman, Jr. © Arthur Turner

David Maxim, Tornado #1, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, and graphite on laid paper, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Michael Zagaris. © David Maxim

Nadezda Prvulovic, Patural 2, from the series Blast Furnaces, 1982–83, gouache, watercolor, ink, chalk, graphite, and metallic pigment on wove paper, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of the artist in honor of Clinton T. Willour. © Nadezda Prvulovic

Dorothy Cross, published by Stoney Road Press, Untitled [I], from the portfolio Tear, 2009, photopolymer intaglio print in color on wove paper, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by Michael Dale. © Dorothy Cross

Dozier Bell, 08:00, 2010, charcoal on polyester, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum purchase funded by Leslie and Jack S. Blanton, Jr. in memory of Peter C. Marzio. © Dozier Bell

James Turrell, published by Peter Blum Edition/Blumarts, Inc., West Chamber, from the series Mapping Spaces, 1987, aquatint, photoetching, and etching in colors on wove paper, edition 3/35, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Peter Blum Edition Archive, 1980–94, Museum purchase funded by the Alice Pratt Brown Museum Fund. © James Turrell

Artists have long represented the simultaneously beautiful and terrifying elements of the natural world. In the 18th century, philosopher Edmund Burke wrote of the power of the sublime in nature as capable of filling the mind with astonishment accompanied by a degree of dread. To Burke, vast landscapes, scenes of great dimension, and even the presence of dangerous creatures activated feelings of fear and wonder that defined the sublime.

Today, the concept of the sublime remains a strong and fertile force in contemporary art with new and expanded definitions, including critiques of human ecological destruction. The prints and drawings in Fear and Wonder, drawn from the MFAH collection, showcase a range of sublime evocations.

Artists such as Dozier Bell and Robin Tichane depict expansive, melancholic landscapes, which complement the cosmic allusions of Dario Robleto and James Turrell. John Alexander and David Maxim recall the wild and deadly volatility of nature. Kermit Oliver and Nadezda Prvulovic reveal sublime potential in human-made structures.

Together, these works on paper suggest a persistent desire to seek places that elicit an encounter with the sublime, the experience of which can provoke an emotive and overwhelming response.

Fear and Wonder: Sublime Landscapes on Paper—Selections from the Museum’s Collection | February 12–August 4, 2019


This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Location

Caroline Wiess Law Building
1001 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005
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