I found this great video of Brooklyn artist Valerie Hegarty talking about her piece, “Fallen Bierstadt” at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
“Early American landscape painting was important in shaping American identity. I am interested in this notion of Manifest Destiny, this idea that as Americans we were destined to expand across the United States to the West Coast.” – Valerie Hegarty
Hegarty says her piece simulates acts of entropy and decay. I think this is so fascinating – taking a work that symbolized an idealized time and idealized nature, and then portraying the inevitable and very real process of decay, disintegration, return to the earth. We might hope or expect that new ideas, art, flora, fauna will be borne out of the soil. But is that possible in our very different landscape now?
As you may know, Jackson’s own National Museum of Wildlife Art has several Bierstadts as part of its permanent collection.