Patricia Johanson and the Re-Invention of Public Environmental Art, 1958-2010Xin Wu
AuthorAshgate Press, 2013
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
The project examines the issue of translation between the visual arts and landscape architecture. The work of contemporary American artist-designer Patricia Johanson provides a unique case for addressing this rarely studied, yet widely disseminated, practice. Beginning in the 1960s, Johanson's career has intertwined with major post–WWII movements in the United States; her experimental path navigates such diverse genres as painting, sculpture, and landscape architecture in the natural sciences. In 2000, when she looked back on her 40-year career, she labeled her own mature work The Garden of Art. When judging Johanson's work we must ask: Is the "translation" from the visual arts to landscape architecture similar to the translation process in language? What is translated and how? Parallels between Johanson and her European peers, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Bernard Lassus—both of whom traveled a similar direction and achieved their highest art in gardens—support a conclusion that reveals translation as a passage to invention.
Xin Wu is a professor of art history at the College of William and Mary. Her research interest includes representation of nature in China (gardens, paintings, and woodblock prints), encounters between East Asia and the West, and global environmental art and landscape architecture. Her current research focuses on the reciprocal interactions among pedagogy, history, and landscape in neo-Confucian academies. She has participated in long-term collaborative international research projects, and has hosted two academic columns, on garden history and contemporary landscape design, in China. Her publications include chapters in The Blackwell Companion to Chinese Art, Interlacing Words and Things, and Contemporary Garden Aesthetics, Creations, and Interpretations, in addition to Reconstruction of Modernity: Patricia Johanson's House & Garden Commission. She has published in European and American academic journals, and has also edited two books in Chinese - 山水之境 and 当代景观启示.
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