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Aerial landscape art

Started by Reyed Mia (Apprentice, DIU), April 20, 2017, 08:37:20 PM

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Reyed Mia (Apprentice, DIU)

Aerial landscape art

Aerial landscape art includes paintings and other visual arts which depict or evoke the appearance of a landscape from a perspective above it—usually from a considerable distance—as it might be viewed from an aircraft or spacecraft. Sometimes the art is based not on direct observation but on aerial photography, or on maps created using satellite imagery. This kind of landscape art hardly existed before the 20th century; its modern development coincided with the advent of human transport which allowed for actual overhead views of large landscapes.

Aerial landscapes are landscapes as seen from the sky. The earliest depictions of aerial landscapes are maps, or somewhat map-like artworks, which show a landscape from an imagined bird's-eye viewpoint. For example, Australian Aborigines, beginning in very ancient times, created "country" landscapes—aerial landscapes depicting their country—showing ancestral paths to watering holes and sacred sites. Centuries before air travel, Europeans developed maps of whole continents and even of the globe itself, all from an imagined aerial perspective, aided with mathematical calculations derived from surveys and knowledge of astronomical relationships.

There were other pre-20th century Western artworks sometimes depicting a single town or precinct in a manner that comes closer to real aerial landscape, showing a town or city more or less as it might look from directly overead. These map-like aerial townscapes often employed a kind of mixed perspective; while the overall view was quasi-aerial—showing the disposition of features arrayed as if seen from directly above—individual features of importance (such as churches or other major buildings) were pictured larger than scale, angled as they might look to someone standing on the ground. The map-like functional purpose of these pictures meant that such landmarks ought to be recognizable to a viewer, therefore, a realistic overhead view of the scene would defeat the purpose. The advent of balloon travel in the 19th century encouraged the development of more realistic aerial landscapes, as the first pioneering aviators begin to learn what landscapes and buildings really looked like when viewed from directly overhead.

Modernist abstraction and the aerial landscape

The artist Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935), who wrote extensively on the aesthetics and philosophy of modern art, identified the aerial landscape (especially the "bird's-eye view", looking straight down, as opposed to an oblique angle) as a genuinely new and radicalizing paradigm in the art of the twentieth century. In his view, air travel, and more specifically, aerial photography had created this broad change in consciousness. The Italian Futurists were similarly fascinated with aerial views of landscapes.

Unlike traditional landscapes, aerial landscapes often do not include any view of a horizon or sky, nor in such cases is there any recession of the view into an infinite distance. Additionally, there is a natural kinship between aerial landscape painting and abstract painting, not only because familiar objects are sometimes difficult to recognize when viewed aerially, but because there is no natural "up" or "down" orientation in the painting. Often it seems that, as in a work of abstract expressionism, the painting might just as well be hung upside down or sideways. Furthermore, as in a Jackson Pollock or a Mark Tobey painting, such images often have an "all over" distribution of interest that defies any attempt to decide on a "correct" orientation or focal point.

Notable Artists

    Susan Crile
    Yann Arthus-Bertrand
    Richard Diebenkorn
    Jane Frank
    Nancy Graves
    Andreas Gursky
    Yvonne Jacquette
    Kazimir Malevich
    Georgia O'Keeffe
    Don Reichert
    Nikolas Schiller
    Everett Warner
    Michael Murray

Reyed Mia (Apprentice, DIU)
Asst. Administrative Officer and Apprentice
Daffodil International University
102/1, Shukrabad, Mirpur Road, Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1207.
Cell: +8801671-041005, +8801812-176600