Gallery’s exhibits offer message

Posted May 1, 2013


Arts students can always agree that landscape assignments are usually the most boring and difficult assignment in a curriculum. They are boring because it has been done in the past and they are difficult because it takes an overflowing amount of vision to make a landscape assignment unique.

This is even more difficult when landscapes are portrayed in photography, capturing a single instant or moment in time.

The Waltman Ortega Fine Art Gallery in Wynwood is exhibiting the work of two artists, Rune Guneeriussen and Aleix Plademunt, who have succeeded in making their landscape photography not only unique, but mesmerizingly beautiful with an environmental message radiating from their work.

Guneeriussen uses nature as a foundation for his light installations, creating an ethereal world in his photographs. The “A Clear Epical Dominance” series is a touching way of acknowledging the possibility of a healthy relationship with nature and the difficulties the environment faces with human interaction.

The Norwegian artist believes human approach to nature is too invasive, and chose untouched landscapes from his home country for his temporary sculptures and installations. In his artist statement, Guneeriussen emphasizes the care with which he worked; leaving no trace behind after the projects were completed.

“This process involves the object, story, space and most important the time it was made within,” said Guneeriussen. “It is an approach to the balance between nature and human culture and all the sub-level of our existence.”

The dreamlike landscapes are effective in showing the beauty of nature when enveloped in the everyday life of humans. His use of lampshades and conventional household items convey that message in a very Alice-in-Wonderland kind of way. The environmental theme, however, is not very clear.

Is an environmental factor necessarily missing in the subject matter of the Guneeriussen’s photographs? The answer is no, not really. The images are captivating enough to stand-alone for their beauty, and the gallery helped by pairing his images with the obvious environmental work of Aleix Plademunt.

Like Guneeriussen, Plademunt uses his home country, Spain, as the foundation for his landscapes in the “Expectadors” series. The focus of these photographs is the rows of perfectly aligned wooden chairs positioned in the middle of these already unique landscapes. The chairs symbolize the nature destroyed in humanity’s search of order and structure in civilized society.

Although less aesthetically pleasing than Guneeriussen’s photographs, Plademunt does a better job of displaying his environmental message. In previous exhibitions located in larger galleries, Plademunt placed the same chairs that appear in the photographs in the gallery, inviting his audience’s interpretation to be part of the work. Unlike his previous exhibitions, the The Waltman Ortega Fine Art Gallery is small in size, so this is a missing element in this joint exhibition.

Having a common theme helps the gallery seem unified, but having the works exhibited side-by-side is odd for an audience without a deeper knowledge of the artists or their message. While Plademunt’s work is structured, linear, and with a lot of visibly empty planes, Guneeriussen’s work does not rely on perspective, but rather flourishes on the natural disorganization of the landscape when setting up the installations.

This exhibition reflects the growing interest in the work of an artistic environmental movement by a new generation of photographers and galleries, both in Miami for displaying the work and also in Norway and Spain, where the rendition of the work actually took place.

This exhibition will please many in the art world, be it for the aesthetics, the environmental theme, the international theme, or even as an educational experience. This intriguing combination is a must-see for all those who doubt the ability of making landscapes unique.