ArtsConnectEd/ArtsNet Minnesota

Art and Artists
 Berenice Abbott
 Giovanni Canal
 Frank Gehry
 Marsden Hartley
 Louis Lozowick
 Mexico (Nayarit)
 David Nash
 Georgia O'Keeffe
 Vincent van Gogh

Inner Worlds What is Art?   Identity Designing Spaces and Places
David Nash
Nash, Standing FrameClick for larger image
David Nash
Standing Frame, 1987
charred white oak, linseed oil
H. 172 x W. 209 3/4 x D. 209 1/2 in.
About the Art

David Nash is also known as one of the first artists to create ecological or environmental art. He is concerned about our natural environment. For his sculptures he uses wood only from trees that are already condemned to fall. He considers his way of working to be a form of recycling. He tries to use all the wood, and even makes drawing charcoal from the smallest scraps. He uses the natural drying process of the wood. Since wood is 50 percent water, it cracks and changes color as time passes, becoming a continual work-in-progress. Nash calls this "going" artwork. The wood is going back to the earth. He also creates "coming" artwork. An example of this approach is Ash Dome, started in 1978. This work consists of 22 live ash trees trained to grow together at the top to create a dome.

Standing Frame was commissioned by the Walker Art Center in 1987. The work was created from two white oak trees found growing near the Mississippi River in Taylor's Falls, Minnesota. Nash uses a geometric shape, the square, to create Standing Frame. He contrasts this geometric frame against the natural organic shapes of the three legs of the sculpture. Nash built a frame so viewers can create their own personal pictures of the cityscape and other artworks in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden by shifting their viewing position. The wood of Standing Frame grew gray with age and Nash was not pleased with the result. He returned recently and blackened the surface with a propane torch, creating more of a contrast between frame and "picture." This burning also completes a circle for Nash. "Wood," he says, "is a weave of earth, air, fire and water."

Vocabulary Terms

environment--All the conditions, circumstances, and influences surrounding and affecting the development of an organism.

environmental or ecological art--Art that focuses on human interaction with their environments such as pollution and land use.

geometric shapes--Shapes with regular contours, and straight edges such as squares, triangles, or circles.

organic shapes--Curving, free-form, irregular shapes echoing nature.

work-in-progress--An artwork that is not yet finished.

[ Return to the TOP of the page ]

Themes, Resources, Participants, Sitemap, Help

Discussion/Activities, About the Artist, About the Art, Teacher Lessons

Inner Worlds | What is Art? | Environment | Identity | Designing Spaces and Places
About the Art | About the Artist | Discussion Questions/Activities | Teacher Lessons