A fantastic new exhibition has opened in the Greater Wilmington and Brandywine area titled Fragile Earth: The Naturalist Impulse in Contemporary Art, on view at the Brandywine River Museum of Art from September 24, 2022 – January 8, 2023. Fragile Earth highlights the diverse approaches taken by four of the leading contemporary American artists whose work engages with environmental themes. The ecologically concerned artists featured in the exhibition include Jennifer Angus, Mark Dion, Courtney Mattison and James Prosek. Fragile Earth spans two galleries of striking works reflecting on the vulnerability of the environment, created in a variety of media by the featured artists. The Brandywine’s presentation of Fragile Earth also includes a site-specific installation by Angus inspired by wallpaper in Andrew Wyeth’s studio and a commissioned mural by Prosek that explores the plants and animals native to the Brandywine Valley. 

James Prosek (b. 1975), Striped Bass, 2017, oil and acrylic on panel, 33 3/4 x 42 in. Florence Griswold Museum, Purchase, 2019.8
Mark Dion (b. 1961), Blood Red Coral, 2013, resin and assorted objects, 33 1/4 x 17 x 9 inches; 84.5 x 43.2 x 22.9 cm. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles
Courtney Mattison (b. 1985), Our Changing Seas III (detail), 2014. Glazed stoneware and porcelain, 108 x 156 x 24 in. Courtesy of the artist, Photograph by Arthur Evans for the Tang Museum

Fragile Earth is organized by the Florence Griswold Museum (FloGris), in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and curated by Jennifer Stettler Parsons, Ph.D. The Brandywine River Museum of Art is the ultimate venue for this exhibition, which previously debuted at the FloGris in 2019. Working with Parsons and the four artists, Amanda Burdan, Senior Curator at Brandywine, updated the exhibition to incorporate works made by the artists in the interim. Over 40% of the works on view are new to this iteration of the exhibition. 

The Brandywine River Museum of Art features an outstanding collection of American art housed in a 19th-century Mill building with a dramatic steel and glass addition overlooking the banks of the Brandywine. The Museum is located on Route 1 in Chadds Ford, PA. Admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors ages 65 and over, $6 for students and children ages 6 and up; free for children 5 and younger and Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art members.  

Header Image: Our Changing Seas III, 2014. Glazed stoneware and porcelain, Courtney Mattison


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