Walking Artist – Hamish Fulton at Josée Bienvenu in New York
Josée Bienvenu will present present WALKING ARTIST, Hamish Fulton’s first exhibition with the gallery and his first solo show in New York in over a decade. While his drawings, sculpture diagrams, murals, and photographs have led to him be considered a practitioner of Land Art, Fulton considers himself instead as a “walking artist.” Through representations of walking itself, nature is neither conceived as a subliminal “other” existing to be conquered nor as an anthropocentric landscape, nature exists rather to be lived, endured, and left to thrive. In our own lives, Fulton’s journeying through wilderness points to a palpable lack of adventure, unmediated experiences, and connectedness to nature.
In 1973, after walking over 1,000 miles in 47 days from Duncansby Head, Scotland to Land’s End, England, Fulton made the decision to “only make art resulting from the experience of individual walks.” Purposefully made of humble materials like paper, wooden rulers, and photographs, his recreations align with the belief that these walks should directly engage with the environment yet leave no traces upon it. Calls for political justice also recur in Fulton’s work, corresponding to his commitment to individual and artistic freedom.
In this exhibition, Fulton presents a body of work that exemplifies his ongoing commitment to art as a quiet protest against the alienation of people from the natural world. Included are two large scale vinyl works: the first refers to a guided and sherpa assisted climb of Mount Everest using bottled oxygen in 2009, the latter describes a pilgrim circuit of the Barkhor Kora and the Jokhang Temple in Tibet. These bold textual works attest to Fulton’s passion for typography in tandem with his ongoing commitment as a walking artist. Several watercolors are included, evoking walking journeys from Switzerland to Bolivia. Unique black and white gelatin silver prints portray journeys through the Pyrenees from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. In the project space, there will be a selection of vintage photographs and small sculptures. For the past 20 years Fulton has devised many group walks, with more than 30 realized transnationally.
Josée Bienvenu – 529 W 20th St # 2E, New York, NY 10011
8 September – 8 October, 2016
Opening: Thursday September 8, 6pm – 8pm