Major exhibition exploring color opens at Cheekwood

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Major exhibition exploring color opens at Cheekwood
Colorscapes, from artist duo Luftwerk, seeks to inspire wonder and connection to the natural world through color with vibrant exhibition spanning 55-acre botanical garden and museum.

NASHVILLE, TENN.- Celebrated for bringing international attention to Nashville through dynamic collaborations with world-renowned artists, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens presents Colorscapes, an immersive exploration of humankind’s understanding of color from acclaimed Chicago-based artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero of the collaborative Luftwerk, on view May 7 – Sept. 4, 2022. The significant, site-specific exhibition features a series of experiential outdoor installations and gallery interventions intended to lead viewers to a better understanding of how we perceive the physical world through color.

“Cheekwood is a special place that merges history, nature and art with an extensive sculpture trail and museum galleries; a fascinating sphere to experience how history, landscape, art and culture weave and grow together,” says Bachmaier and Gallero. “We couldn't envision a more ideal site to exhibit, engage and illuminate our artwork. Our hope is that visitors will celebrate the colors of the natural world through this immersive journey and will feel enriched by exploring the colorful confluence of art, history and natural sciences.”

“For more than a decade, Luftwerk has been realizing some of the most sensational, layered installations of light, color and sound,” says Dr. Marin R. Sullivan, guest curator on the project. “Their work transforms how we see and experience the world around us and is a perfect complement to Cheekwood’s mission of celebrating history, art and horticulture.”

The complicated task of studying color has a rich and complex history. One of the most significant examples is from Age of Enlightenment German geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner, whose book Nomenclature of Colours was groundbreaking upon its release in 1814, journeying with Charles Darwin during his Beagle voyage around the world in 1831 and serving as a precursor to the modern Pantone system. Werner’s guide, which served as a springboard for the conception of Colorscapes, continues to be an inspiring invitation to look more closely at our surroundings and consider the expansive landscape of colors present in the natural world. Through experience-based art installations, Luftwerk seizes the baton from scholars, writers and naturalists of the past to examine how we perceive our surroundings and provide new context in which we connect with the modern world through color, light and sound.

“Unity through variety” serves as Luftwerk’s mantra for Colorscapes, which will offer a multi-layered journey that responds to and connects the different gardens, architecture and permanent art collection of Cheekwood. The exhibition will first unfold across Cheekwood’s Color Garden, Arboretum Lawn, Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden and portico of the historic mansion, incorporating the use of natural pigments, exploring the phenomenon of light and color in the sky and building on the histories of Cheekwood’s 55 acres of cultivated gardens. Inside the historic mansion, Luftwerk will create immersive color and light installations throughout the more intimately scaled exhibition galleries using botanical colors in combination with color changing light conditions that will transform into abstracted, atmospheric experiences.

“Interdisciplinary, deeply researched and driven by an experimental curiosity, Luftwerk’s creative practice is both highly cerebral and utterly enjoyable,” says Dr. Sullivan. “They have created a truly unique and immersive exhibition for Cheekwood, and I am certain Colorscapes will delight and surprise our visitors.”

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