Landscape as Medium: Earth Paintings by Ulrike Arnold

For her Earth Paintings series, German artist Ulrike Arnold travels the world to create abstract site-specific works on canvas using pigments taken directly from the earth. Borrowing from an artistic lineage dating back over 300,000 years, when humans began painting rock art using ochre pigments, Arnold’s work emerges from direct experience with the earth itself. To paint with these earth minerals, she grinds stones and rocks into a paste that she mixes on location with an acrylic binder.

“What fascinates me is how the earth, in the various forms of its landscape and stones, assumes different material and color qualities,” she says, “how the variegated layers tell stories about the creation of the earth, about the conditions under which people live in different parts of the earth, as well as the interplay between climatic zones and vegetation.”

Painting With Ground and Sky, an exhibition of Arnold’s earth works, is on display at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno until November 17.

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