Agnes Denes is a world renowned pioneer of conceptual art. Born in 1931 in Budapest, her family moved to Stockholm and finally the US at a young age. She has explored topics like the physical and social sciences, philosophy, linguistics, psychology, art history, poetry and music and used them to create environmental artworks. She is best known for her work Wheatfield-A Confrontation (1982). In this piece she took a two acre plot of land in NYC and turned it into a wheat field. She ended up yielding 1,000 lbs of wheat from that two acre plot in the middle of a city. This harvested wheat was then shipped around the world in an effort to improve awareness for ending world hunger. After the International Art Show for The End of World Hunger, the wheat was symbolically planted around the world.
In 1996 she created another amazing feat of conservation art called “Tree Mountain – A Living Time Capsule – 11,000 Trees – 11,000 People – 400 Years” In this piece, she, along with 11,000 people planted a forest on and man made mountain. The beauty of the project was that it could never be put in a museum. they could never charge admittance to see the tree mountain. it was just there. It helped re-established disturbed and destroyed land and served as note as if to say that yes, we may have destroyed this earth. we may have pulled it up and cracked it open, we may have torn it up, polluted it and mined it. We may have poisoned this earth, but we must remember that no matter what; no matter what we do or how we treat it, there is still time for us to turn it around. Projects like Tree Mountain are a testament to the reversibility of deterioration. No matter how hopeless an abandoned mining operation or a surface mining area or a deforestation area may look, there is always an opportunity there to help rebuild what was lost.
Some more information about Agnes Denes:
Agnes Denes has had over 300 solo and group exhibitions on four continents, including Documenta VI in Kassel (1977), three Venice Biennales (1978, 1980,2001) and “Master of Drawing” Invitational at the Kunsthalle in Nirenberg (1982)
Ms. Denes’ work has been featured at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Metropolitan Museum of Art , and the Whitney Museum in New York