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Matthew Collings

The long skeletal arm reaches out from 40 years ago and from 500 years before that. Agnes Denes and the Grim Reaper.


Coloured pencils on paper.



Denes was one of the initiators of the environmental art movement. Her 1982 artwork, “Wheatfield: A Confrontation” was a protest against the imbalance of wealth, global warming, and patriarchy. She negotiated the use of three unpopulated "garbage islands" on the Battery Park landfill on the West Side, planted them with wheat and documented their growth. The wheat field faced the World Trade Center. Peter Brueghel’s Triumph of Death, from the sixteenth century, says the same thing. Fight the apocalypse! His context is religion and the deep psychology of religious mythology. Hers is ecology. We’re all gonna die horribly because corporations destroyed our ecosystem for money.

Agnes Denes and the Grim Reaper.

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