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Unintended Consequences

  • Brooke Lanier Fine Art 201 South Camac Street, #4 Philadelphia, PA, 19107 United States (map)
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Landscapes are a physical history of events that shaped them. In this exhibition, Geoffrey Agrons, Diane Burko, Brooke Lanier, Jennifer Manzella, and Ekaterina Popova raise questions about what events transpired that shape our current environment. The poetically unpopulated vistas in this exhibition subtly imply the lingering unintentional effects that humans have had on our planet in the wake of industrialization. Rather than being overly clinical or didactic, these images function as personal experiences of global phenomena. 

Jennifer Manzella’s prints depict deserted urban landscapes, including vacant lots and derelict industrial buildings along the Hudson and Delaware Rivers. These structures, geometrically simplified silhouettes, have been forgotten in the wake of the decline of the American manufacturing industry. The empty spaces in her compositions are equally important as the vacant buildings.

Similarly, Geoffrey Agrons’ photographs feature mysterious structures such as the bones of piers along coastlines devastated by hurricanes. In much architecture there is an implicit assumption that we have dominion over our surroundings, but nature is unconquerable. Agrons has said that he only points his lens at something that breaks his heart, and indeed, there is a sense of melancholy and being lost in a vast space, trying to make sense of the aftermath.

The coastal areas in Brooke Lanier’s watercolors have been hit by multiple hurricanes in the past two years. Destruction of wetland wildlife habitats for real estate development exacerbates recurrent flooding. As warming oceans and melting glacial ice raise water levels, flooding from tropical storms has an increasingly devastating impact on highly populated coastal areas. Property highly sought after by vacationers and retirees is vulnerable to extreme weather. Carefully landscaped beaches are reshaped by storms and strewn with rubble. 

Diane Burko’s photographs give a face to statistics, documenting of the regression of glacial ice. Burko accompanied climatologists to the Arctic Svalbard as well as Greenland’s Ilulissat Glacier to document the shrinking of polar ice over time. Her work contains an inquisitive quality that is also present Ekaterina Popova’s watercolors of Skagaströnd, Iceland. These images serve as visual proof, used for sharing a story once their creators return home.

The show is open to the public Tuesday through Friday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and by appointment. A brunch opening will be held on May 5th from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Join us for coffee, muffins, and conversation with the artists.