David Nash

Serpentine Galleries

Though organizations such as Common Ground and projects like the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail have recently been promoting the work of young artists working in the outdoors and coaxing others out of their studios, environmental sculpture itself is nothing new. David Nash, often regarded as the father of it all, has been at it longer than the Green movement. Committed to nature, yet without obvious polemic, Nash’s work with fallen timber, and occasionally live trees, can stand alone as powerful sculptural heirs to the abstract work of earlier British artists such as Barbara Hepworth.

There is nothing in these works of the precious whimsy that frequently threatens the works of environmental artists. Rough and elemental, Nash’s sculptures preserve the character of the wood, incorporating the natural cracks and flaws. Visible ax marks contrast with smooth areas in Big Tongue, 1988, and the

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