Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Visual Histories of Ulrike Arnold's
Earth Paintings

--art + architecture + design--

German artist Ulrike Arnold pays homage to nature by creating pigments from site specific locations around the world. From Africa to Australia, the southwest of U.S to Asia Arnold gathers earth specimens of locations like a forensic investigator collecting DNA evidence.

She gathers samples such as rocks and soil, pounds them into a fine dust, often mixing them with wax or oils and then uses her hands to transfer that "information" to her canvas. The result is both gritty and serene and ultimately a dream like meditation on the beauty of our planet.

"What fascinates me is how the earth, in the various forms of its landscape and stones, assumes different material and color qualities, how the variegated layers tell stories about the creation of the earth, about the conditions under which people live in different parts of the earth, as well as the interplay between climatic zones and vegetation. The quality of the earth determines the quality of the landscape... In mysticism too and among all peoples, the earth is assigned a particular significance: earth is primary materials, conveyor of energy; earth means beginning and end."

For more information on Ulrike Arnold, go to her site at

(Painting from top to bottom are; from Africa series, from America series and from Asia series)


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