Sylvan Natural History: Eric Lindveit
In Sylvan Natural History, New York City-based artist Eric Lindveit exhibits an array of dimensional works on paper in which things aren’t quite as they appear. Inspired by a series of hand-colored illustrated books published in 1842 depicting the flora and fauna of New York, Lindveit has created scaled-up versions of New York City trees. What is surprising is that these enlarged views of varied bark are constructed from pencil, acrylic, flocking, sawdust, paper, and burlap over steel box springs. Lindveit has rendered the details of these trees, and in some cases their blemishes, in striking detail. Many appear to have suffered trauma—branches cut, wounds to the bark, irregular growths, knots, and protuberances, while some serve as hosts to opportunistic fungi.
Some of the sculptures are displayed in crate-like frames that are stacked to create a monumental wall structure. Lindveit explains, “When the work is believable, it becomes somehow real, no matter how improbable. I am making greatly exaggerated composite portraits that combine my interest in surface, identity, entropy, and the skin of paint. They belong to the built environment.” These stacks occupy an entire expanse of wall like an altar, inviting the viewer to see these sculptures in relationship to architecture. We are left to ponder the artifice of a built environment in contrast to our experiences and relationship with the natural world.
- Eric Lindveit (American, born 1964) Sash, 2011-2018, Acrylic, pencil, paper and hemp on burlap over box string steel, Courtesy of the artist
- Eric Lindveit (American, born 1964) Installation view, Courtesy of the artist