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Changing the Landscapes: 11 Landscape Artists in Modern and Contemporary Art Scene

Landscape painting is a known and versatile thematic ground within the art world, unveils the natural scenery as its primary muse. It beckons us to wander through mountains, forests, rivers, and beaches, inviting our spirits to roam freely in these picturesque realms. These artistic vistas unfold before our eyes, capturing the breadth of the scene with an expansive view that often pays homage to the heavens above. Artists embark on this creative odyssey to not only celebrate nature’s sheer beauty, but also to delve into its hidden mysteries.

Landscape Painting Landscape Artists Contemporary Landscape Painting Landscape Art
Caspar David Friedrich, “Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog,” c. 1817 Courtesy:  Wikimedia Commons

We have seen the likes of Landscape paintings done by amateur and skilled artists over the centuries. Some of which have gained great momentum and have inspired many artists over the years, these are Giorgione, The Tempest, C. 1505, Caspar David Friedrich, The Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog, 1818, paintings by Claude Monet, Hokusai, J.M.W. Turner, Van Gogh and more. Indian masters have dipped their artistic fingers within the contours of Landscape art too such as Abanindranath Tagore, Benode Behari Mukherjee, Ram Kumar, B. N. ARYA, F.N.Souza, Akbar Padamsee, contemporary artists such as P.T.Reddy, Avinash Chandra, etc. 

Through brushstrokes that dance with light, colour, and texture, they weave tales, conjure ideas, and unravel metaphors, transporting us to realms where imagination and reality intertwine. Exploring the legacy of landscape painting illuminates its ever-evolving essence, guiding contemporary artists to draw inspiration from this timeless connection between art and nature. 

In the vast landscape of art history, landscape painting continues to inspire contemporary artists who draw from its rich heritage. This collection showcases their adeptness in combining tradition and innovation, resulting in landscape art that is simultaneously reminiscent of the past and strikingly unique. Let us look into the contemporary artists who are working on the themes of Landscapes and making Landscape Art. Following are the  11 Landscape Artists in Modern and Contemporary Art Scene that you should know about:

 

 

 

1. Erin Hanson

Erin Hanson, an artist hailing from Oregon, has taken up the mantle of the Impressionist movement and forged her own artistic path with the creation of Open-Impressionism. With a modern twist, Hanson’s innovative style embraces impasto paint strokes, foregoing traditional layering techniques. Her bold and vibrant canvases capture the essence of landscapes and natural scenes with a fresh perspective. Inspired by the interplay of light and colour, Hanson’s artworks exude energy and spontaneity, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in the textured brushwork and vivid hues. Through her artistic vision, she breathes new life into the Impressionist tradition, infusing it with a contemporary vitality that captivates and resonates with audiences worldwide. 

Erin Hanson | Widewalls
Erin Hanson – Crystal Dawn, 2016. Courtesy: widewalls.ch

2. Etel Adnan

Etel was an Arab American author and artist, seamlessly translates her perceptual vision from written word to vibrant, small-scale landscapes. Adnan embraced painting at the encouragement of a fellow artist. Her unique style emerges as she lays her canvas flat, employing a palette knife to apply thick paint with a limited colour palette, often completing a piece in one session. At the age of eighty-nine, her acclaimed works graced the Whitney Biennial in 2014, showcasing her distinctive artistic approach.

 

For Etel Adnan, a show in Turkey is a symbolic homecoming | Apollo Magazine
Late Afternoon (2020), Etel Adnan. Image: courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris. Courtesy: Etel Adnan

3. Indra Dugar

 Indian landscape painter who hails from West Bengal depicts the beauty of his homeland with a blend of realism and impressionism. With a keen eye for detail, Dugar captures the play of light and colour in diverse landscapes, from majestic mountains to serene rivers and lush forests. His works evoke serenity and tranquillity, showcasing the subtle nuances of atmospheric effects. Dugar’s art celebrates India’s rich natural heritage, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in the captivating landscapes he skilfully portrays.

Indra Dugar Artwork for Sale at Online Auction | Indra Dugar Biography & Info
INDRA DUGAR (1918 – 1989) Untitled Watercolour. Courtesy:invaluable.com

4. Haren Das

A pioneering artist and printmaker of the mid-twentieth century, defied convention by focusing on landscapes within his extensive body of work. In an era when painting was deemed superior, Das fearlessly embraced printmaking as his medium of choice. With a versatile approach encompassing wood engraving, etching, and linocut, he skillfully depicted the rural Bengali life alongside the captivating landscapes, seascapes, and native flora and fauna of the Bengal region.

Gallerie Ganesha presents Haren Das flashback
Haren Das’s printwork. Courtesy: Gallerie Ganesha, Delhi

5. Enrique Martínez Celaya

an artist of diverse talents, paints landscapes and seascapes that evoke a profound sense of both solitude and wonder. With a background in science and engineering, he approaches his studio as a laboratory, delving into the pursuit of truth in isolation. Drawing inspiration from literature, mythology, and philosophy, particularly the writings of Martin Heidegger and Arthur Schopenhauer, Martínez Celaya’s introspective and melancholic landscapes incorporate Nordic imagery reminiscent of Caspar David Friedrich. In a manner akin to Anselm Kiefer, his paintings serve as universal symbols of mourning, memorialising historical and existential tragedies.

Enrique Martinez Celaya, The Garden (Pasternak), 2009-2010 | Simon Lee
Enrique Martinez Celaya, The Garden (Pasternak), 2009-2010 Courtesy: simonleegallery.com.

6. David Hockney

A known artist in the global art scene, the British artist who found himself captivated by the allure of California. Hockney’s artistic evolution merges within the world of  pop art and expressionism. His exploration of landscapes has been boundless, he has employed watercolours, photo collages, monumental compositions, and even digital tools like iPads. While Southern California’s radiance remains inseparable from his identity, Hockney’s artistic lens now embraces the grandeur of The Grand Canyon, the charm of the South of France, and the serene countryside of his native Yorkshire. 

David Hockney
The entrance, 2019. Courtesy:hockney.com

7. Inka Essenhigh

An artist known for her imaginative approach, defies the traditional notions of landscape painting. Rather than seeking a natural escape, Essenhigh deliberately constructs artificial landscapes from her own creative depths. Drawing inspiration from diverse art historical styles and popular culture, her visual language becomes a captivating blend of Rococo, Romanesque, Art Nouveau, and Pop influences. Through her paintings, Essenhigh delves into the known and unknown aspects of nature, employing narration, symbolism, and an air of mystery. She embraces the painting process as a means of collaboration with a separate realm, allowing her imagination to access a world she passionately crafts.

Inka Essenhigh – The Women's Studio
Inka Essenhigh’s surreal landscape painting. Courtesy:thewomensstudio.net

8. Bireswar Sen

The extraordinary landscape painter, goes beyond conventional depiction. His “mindscapes” merge imagination and memory, radiating a captivating painting. Each season breathes life into his works, evoking awe and peace. Mystery envelops his landscapes, with tiny figures traversing unknown paths. The splendour lies in their ethereal quality, transporting viewers to wondrous realms. Sen’s art transcends boundaries, revealing the profound beauty of nature and the enigmatic human experience. 

9. Kanwal Krishna

A landscape artist of remarkable talent, embarked on a journey through Afghanistan, Khyber Pass, and the Swat valley in 1945 with his wife Devyani. His paintings captured the essence of these landscapes. He also attended the coronation of the Dalai Lama in Tibet, providing early visual references of its life and landscapes. Krishna’s works showcased mastery of perspective, depth, and captivating textures. His legacy as a landscape artist endures and he has provided some stunning works of art for future generations to be inspired from.

Kanwal Krishna
Kanwal Krishna’s landscapes. Courtesy: DAGworld.com

10. Agnes Martin

Martin’s minimalist landscapes, characterised by delicate lines and muted palettes, evoked a sense of tranquillity and contemplation, as seen in works like “The Islands.”

11. Andreas Gursky

A celebrated German artist, is known for his immense photographs capturing urban and natural landscapes, as well as architectural marvels. His work emanates a detached, all-knowing perspective. Gursky’s large-scale photographs capture vast landscapes and urban environments, emphasising the impact of human presence on the natural world.

Rhein II - Wikipedia
Rhein II by Andreas Gursky. Courtesy: Matthew Marks Gallery

Landscape painting, often dismissed as outdated, offers a fertile ground for innovation in contemporary and modern art. Artists in this genre confront pressing issues like global warming and virtual spaces, breathing new life into a historically rich tradition. They provoke dialogue and reflection, capturing the intricate relationship between humanity and the environment. Many new and upcoming artists are dabbling within the realm with fresh perspectives bringing in new mediums at play. Landscape art defines the traditional notions of “art that is visually appealing”,  however,  contemporary landscape artists defy stereotypes and remind us of the enduring relevance and power of this timeless art form. 

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