The Nest, an exhibition of art in natureIn the Beitzel and Righter Galleries
March 6 - June 19, 2016
In a provocative display that incorporates contemporary art, relics from the natural world, and items of material culture, the forthcoming exhibition The Nest, an exhibition of art in nature, examines the exquisite beauty and profound symbolism of the nest in art and culture. Drawing its inspiration from the extraordinary form of the bird’s nest, the exhibition examines how the fundamental drive to gather, assemble, and create is a function of both nature and the artistic process.
The exhibition features a selection of real birds’ nests from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History collection, one of the most extensive and significant in North America. Works by fifteen contemporary artists—whose practices encompass sculpture, painting, collage, photography, and video—examine the life of birds, as well as the concept of the nest as metaphor of home, birth, protection, and the human body. Drawing from the intersection of nature and technology, bird cams appear on monitors installed throughout the galleries, introducing a view of live birds into the context of natural materials and art objects. Artists in the exhibition include Sharon Beals, Sanford Biggers, Dove Bradshaw, Björn Braun, John Burtle, Shiela Hale, Porky Hefer, Nina Katchadourian, Louise Lawler, Judy Pfaff, James Prosek, Kiki Smith, Andreas Sterzing, Paul Villinski and David Wojnarowicz.
The Nest, an exhibition of art in nature provides an unexpected lens through which to observe the fascinating parallels between human and animal behavior, raising timely questions about the survival of the birds and their habitats in our increasingly fragile ecological world.