Politics of Snow II
Paintings by Diane Burko
Bernstein Gallery, Princeton University
Exhibition dates: April 4 – May 19, 2011
Politics of Snow II will be held in conjunction with a panel discussion featuring Michael Oppenheimer, the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs Department of Geosciences and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The panel discussion will take place on April 21, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. in Bowl 016, Robertson Hall, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. A public reception will follow the panel discussion at 6 p.m. in the Bernstein Gallery adjacent to Bowl 016.
Contact: Kate Somers
Politics of Snow II is a series of sweeping views of majestic glaciers and mountains by Philadelphia artist, Diane Burko, who has spent most of her long and productive career creating landscapes in the tradition of the Hudson River School. But in this series, the paintings are not landscapes meant to transport viewers into a contemplative reverie on the sublime qualities of nature. If they are meant to do so, it is only temporary, because Burko’s mission is to wake us out of that reverie and force us to bear witness to man’s imprint on our natural world as it manifests itself in global warming.
Using archival photographs of glaciers as starting points, Burko pairs these images in diptychs and triptychs, and other multiple configurations, with contemporary views of the same landscape 10, 50 or 100 years later. In this way, Burko’s paint on canvas becomes a time-based medium, like film. And like a film-maker, the artist crops the images and adjusts the palette to further enhance and convey the dramatic and accelerating effects of climate change.
While Burko is an avid researcher who uses geological data to inform her work, Politics of Snow II is imbued with her own emotions. These paintings convey her visceral reaction to our vanishing landscapes of melting ice and diminished glaciers. Viewers will walk away awed and haunted by this series.
Diane Burko has received numerous awards including two NEA Visual Arts Fellowships (1985, 1991); two Individual Artists Grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (1981, 1989); a Lila Acheson Wallace Foundation Residence Fellowship (1989); a Rockefeller Foundation Residence Fellowship (1993); and the Bessie Berman $50,000 Grant, awarded by the Leeway Foundation in Philadelphia (2000). She has been active in the Feminist Art movement since the 1970’s and was recently awarded the WCA/CAA Lifetime Achievement Award in February. Burko’s widely exhibited works are in numerous private and public collections including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts De Cordova Museum; The James A. Michener Art Museum; The Reading Public Museum; and the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 1976, Burko has been represented by the Locks Gallery in Philadelphia. She lives and works in Philadelphia and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. www.dianeburko.com
Picture credit: #1/#2 MAIN RONGBUK GLACIER, after Mallory, 1921 and after David Breashears, 2007, Courtesy Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA