Lecture: Landscapes – Orienting or Disorienting the Viewer?


Lecture by Andreas Menk (art historian) in conjunction with the “My Theme” Lecture Series

Images of the landscape have surrounded us for centuries, and since medieval book illustration the landscape has consistently served as an artistic theme. According to art historian Andreas Menk, there are two tendencies in contemporary art, which address the presence of the landscape in art and already began to emerge identifiably in the 17th century. Menk discussed his theories in reference to a range of examples, beginning with El Greco and extending to Walter de Maria, Robert Rauschenberg and the two theorists Kathrin Becker and Klara Wallner. He has also shown how art vacillates between reality and idealization, how the viewer’s relationship to the landscape is constituted, and how a landscape is distilled from nature—as a deeply felt perception of the things around us.

Art historian Andreas Menk (born 1973 in Berlin) has been working as a tutor at the Department of Art History at the University of Frankfurt in the field of architecture and visual arts since 2011. He has presented an aspect of his research at the Frankfurter Kunstverein as part of the lecture series “My Theme.”