Phoebe Washburn And Other Artists Who Use Dirt, Grass, Trees And Plants As Artistic Medium

Phoebe Washburn

Phoebe Washburn

Walter De Maria

Walter De Maria

Mathilde Roussel

Mathilde Roussel

Mylyn Nguyen

Mylyn Nguyen

Walter de Maria’s Earth Room, permanently installed at 141 Wooster Street in New York since 1980, is nothing but 250 cubic yards of black soil filling 3,600 square feet.  As Jerry Saltz describes it, it is a “majestic work that gives us bodily confirmations of the power of scale, material, natural phenomena, and art.”  Indeed, Mother Nature’s material can provide a profound art experience that other artists have also experimented with.  Gabriel Kuri uses familiar, everyday materials like newspapers and slabs of grass to focus attention on contemporary consumer culture and the circulation of things like money, information and energy in our global economy.  Ruben Ochoa’s works, specifically his “Overturned Foundations” currently installed at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, alter our relationship to the ground and the wall by shifting our perception of space.  At The Carriage House at The Islip Arts Museum  in 2011 Olivia Kaufman-Rovira  installed a watering system that grew giant grass chandeliers over a six week period.  The grass chandeliers were interspersed with others made of discarded plastic bottles.  The sculptures were meant to comment on resources needed to keep up lawns, how non-biodegradable materials pollute our environment and how important our water supply is.  Phoebe Washburn is a New York artist who incorporates organic matter such as sod or plants into her installations, which act as attempts to exert control over the chaotic.  Mathilde Roussel’s works, often suspended in mid-air, are grass sculptures that represent the growth and decay of life.  Representations of gravity, time and the fragility of existence the works are poetic and beautiful.  Sean Martindale replaced cracked city tree planters in Toronto with grass, making it appear as though it had spilled out over the planter.  A kind of street art, the planters brought beauty and attention to an otherwise damaged part of the city.  Mylyn Nguyen is an Australian artist who gives form to imaginary figures by sculpting natural materials such as moss, pebbles dirt, twigs etc.

Olivia Kaufman

Olivia Kaufman 

Olivia Kaufman

Olivia Kaufman

Gabriel Kuri

Gabriel Kuri

Mylyn Nguyen

Mylyn Nguyen

Mathilde Roussel

Mathilde Roussel

Ruben Ochoa

Ruben Ochoa

Sean Martindale

Sean Martindale

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