Second Nature

Second Nature
Linda J Wallis: Silky
Last updated:

Second Nature Co-curated by Langdon Graves and Fay Ku
11th July, 2024 – 9th August, 2024
Dinner Gallery
242 West 22nd Street
New York
NY 10011

“Philosophers call this state of isolation and disconnection ‘species loneliness’—a deep, unnamed sadness stemming from estrangement from the rest of Creation, from the loss of relationship. As our human dominance of the world has grown, we have become more isolated, more lonely when we can no longer call out to our neighbors.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer

Second Nature
Larysa Myers: Lagoon

Dinner Gallery is pleased to present Second Nature, a group exhibition co-curated by Langdon Graves and Fay Ku. The exhibition opens on July 11th and will remain on view through August 9th with an opening reception on July 11th from 6-8pm.

The curators approached the seven other artists with a theme loosely bound to the concept of species loneliness, a sentiment first introduced by author Michael Vincent McGinnis that as humans, we have grown alien within our own world. A shared sense of isolation from nature has been explored across various media in recent decades in such works as E.O. Wilson’s Biophilia, Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation and Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass. The works in Second Nature are ruminations on the many facets of this concept.

These artists do not make representations of the natural world but rather project onto its landscapes and organisms examinations of their own identities within it. And they do this with drawing, a humble and direct discipline wherein thoughts unfold through meticulous labor or sensitive touch into a breathing world. Whether they give voice to anxiety or delight in their relationship to a non-anthropocentric universe, as avatars or archetypes, all insert their physical bodies.

Second Nature
Devra Fox: Spinal Connections #1

Through transformation, dislocation or communion, they position their existence against a greater cycle of life and death. The language is universal, yet the drawings convey an intimacy and immediacy of personal experience. All nine artists portray the body in various states of absorption or disappearance into the non-human, paralleling their sense of integration with the natural world. The cost of connection is the loss of individualism. Some rebel against the subsuming of selfhood or make visible its
sacrifice through bodily dismemberment into the earth, while others confront removal through a transient union with landscape and the larger lens of art history. For some artists, the line between human and other is blurred completely through transmutation or insertion, resulting in anthropoids capable of agency and volition, thoughts, memories and feelings.

Second Nature
Linda J Wallis: Silky

Finally, there are the artists who perhaps lament their exile from Eden and long to know a land or time where they are spiritually in tune with the earth. They place their metaphorical selves within ordered systems, emphasizing borders between the worlds they have and those they desire, or through a present absence where forms steal the substance of others to create their contours. Regardless of how these artists see connection to or severance from the natural world through acceptance, resistance, wholeness or disintegration – they find themselves at the complex boundary between humanness and the universe.

Featured Artists

Devra Fox
Langdon Graves
Fay Ku
Nat Meade
Larysa Myers
Bryan Rogers
Dadu Shin
Diana Shpungin
Linda J. Wallis

Second Nature Co-curated by Langdon Graves and Fay Ku opens on the 11th of July, 2024 until the 9th of August, 2024 at Dinner Gallery

©2024 Dinner Gallery