The concept of ‘the picturesque’ originated in the 18th century and was
closely linked from the very start to that of the English landscape
garden, which traded in the strict geometry of the French garden for a
carefully recreated and staged image of nature.
The term ‘picturesque’ refers to a certain kind of landscape that was
considered suitable as a subject for a painting, as well as to a part
of reality that could be looked upon as if it were a painting. It is
remarkable that a lot of contemporary artists are fascinated by the
hybrid landscape in which the differences between centre and periphery,
between city and countryside and between nature and culture are no
longer clearly defined.
Furthermore the present natural landscape is to a large extent and on a
global scale colonized and domesticated by means of a worldwide spread
of images in the form of works of art and all kinds of media images of
landscapes in film, television, tourism, etc.
The exhibition in the S.M.A.K. wants to investigate how the concept of
‘the picturesque’ can still (or again) be applied to artistic
interpretations of the present landscape.