Spencer Finch: Following Nature
Brooklyn-based artist Spencer Finch investigates light and color in mixed media installations, photographs, and drawings that explore perception of the natural world.
Finch’s installation Following Nature is motivated by the artist’s recent visit to Claude Monet’s iconic water garden in Giverny, France. Monet has been an inspiration for Finch for more than 20 years, and this installation looks to the Impressionist painter’s water garden as a kind of laboratory for optical effects. Unlike Monet’s paintings of the garden, Finch’s expansive installation radically reinterprets this site in three dimensions.
Finch sourced the colors for the Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion’s translucent window vinyl from his photographs of the gardens, color samples taken on site, and pigment colors used by Monet. As light shifts across the tinted windows and the gently swaying glass panels, viewers are immersed in a sensory environment of changing kaleidoscopic reflections.
Following Nature is a study of water’s changing reflections and refractions. It is also a fusion of inside and outside, integrating the exterior landscape of the IMA with Finch’s abstraction of the Giverny gardens. Finch’s installation embodies the water garden as an evolving spatial and visual experience rather than as a single moment in time.
“In light of changes [in the weather] I am following nature without being able to grasp her, and then there is the river that shrinks, swells again, green one day, then yellow, sometimes almost dry, and which tomorrow will be a torrent, after the terrible rain that is falling at the moment.” —excerpt from a letter written by Monet to his friend Gustave Geffroy in 1889.