PRINT October 1986


THE AMERICAN MIDWEST IS as much a state of mind as a place, and certainly its boundaries—symbolic or geographic—change depending on who’s doing the surveying. The region is commonly viewed as the home of “traditional” values, of huddled clutters of small towns, of the silent farmer plowing silent fields, of provincial conformity It has long provided us with an assortment of local images and personalities isolated against the land’s immense, indifferent backdrop.

The symbiotic relationship of geography and values has occupied many Midwestern artists in the past, and recently, too, certain artists have chosen this landscape as the conduit of meditations on the character of place. Today there are artists who depict with great accuracy the specifics of weather, soil, plant life, and rural architecture, but they set these things within a countryside distant to the point of also appearing imagined.

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.