© 1982 Agnes Denes. Wheatfield—A Confrontation, Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan, 1982, (Green Wheat). 2 acres of wheat planted and harvested by the artist on a landfill in Manhattan's financial district, summer 1982. Commissioned by Public Art Fund, New York City.
Agnes Denes is a pioneer of the environmental art movement, (with a major work in 1968, Rice/Tree/Burial). In the project Wheatfield - A Confrontation, she secured permission to plant 2 acres of wheat on a landfill in New York City, just a block from where the World Trade Center towers once stood. The ground was ploughed, seeded, weeded, fertilized, watered, and harvested, all within the immediate view of New York City’s financial district. Wheatfield - A Confrontation referred to world hunger, greed and mismanagement of resources. The work was pioneering in its time, and it continues to be regarded as one of the most significant pieces of environmental art ever made.
This show includes images from the Wheatfield - A Confrontation project, as well as documentation of Tree Mountain, another of Denes’ large-scale environmental art projects. In this project Denes, along with 11,000 project participants, planted 11,000 trees in an area in Finland that was declared a national monument to future generations. The declaration carried with it a commitment to maintain the planting for a period of at least 400 years. The original drawing was completed in 1983, and the final protective designation occurred in 1996. Along with the original computer-aided sketch, eARTh includes a picture of what Tree Mountain looks like with grown trees. Stunning in its shape and scope, the images speak to the power of concerted, collected human action.
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