“Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates”

“In 1982, when Agnes Denes planted seeds in a two-acre plot in Lower Manhattan to produce Wheatfield—A Confrontation, one of the most memorable examples of first-generation ecological art, she brought urban dwellers face-to-face with the agricultural processes that sustain them.”

In 1982, when Agnes Denes planted seeds in a two-acre plot in Lower Manhattan to produce Wheatfield—A Confrontation, one of the most memorable examples of first-generation ecological art, she brought urban dwellers face-to-face with the agricultural processes that sustain them. While continuing to work in that earthy and ever more relevant vein, the artist has also maintained a career-long fascination with mathematics, science, and formal logic. This retrospective of some 150 works produced over five decades features photo documentation of many of Denes’s public art projects (such as her swoop-sloped pyramids); a selection of her cryptic, intellectually dense, and highly schematic graphic works, including her “Philosophical Drawings” (1969–80), “Pyramid Series” (1970–), and “Isometric Series” (1974–98); and several new commissions.

Agnes Denes, Wheatfield—A Confrontation, 1982, two acres of wheat planted and harvested by the artist on the Battery Park landfill, Manhattan, Summer 1982. Commissioned by Public Art Fund. Courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York.