Arts & Humanities Campus News

Georgia Museum of Art exhibition examines abstract landscapes

Elaine de Kooning (American, 1918-1989), “Rio Grande,” 1959. Watercolor on paper, 14 3/4 × 19 1/4 inches. Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; Gift of Jeanne Levie Berry in honor of Benjamin Carroll Berry Jr. GMOA 2013.474. (Submitted photo)

The Georgia Museum of Art has opened a new exhibition that brings attention to the power art has to influence our understanding of the environment.

Organized by curatorial assistant Kathryn Hill, “Infinity on the Horizon,” open through Dec. 31, features modern and contemporary objects in the museum’s permanent collection, including art by Georgia O’Keeffe, Elaine de Kooning and Richard Mayhew.

The exhibition gets its title from O’Keeffe, who wrote, “The unexplainable thing in nature that makes me feel the world is big far beyond my understanding — to understand maybe by trying to put it into form. To find the feeling of infinity on the horizon line or just over the next hill.” “Infinity on the Horizon” underscores how abstraction as an artistic strategy can expand our understanding of the landscapes around us.

The artists in this exhibition have responded to and reinvented the landscape. In the Western tradition, landscape has served as a stage for human action, occupation and authority, but many contemporary and Indigenous artists question these perspectives. The artists in this exhibition transform identifiable elements and visual markers of landscapes. In doing so, they comment on aesthetic, political, social and ecological concerns affecting the environments around us. By examining the infinite approaches of abstraction, this exhibition raises the question: how far can the artist abstract nature before we lose sight of the horizon?

“This exhibition presents a wonderful opportunity to advance our understanding of the permanent collection, including many of our newest acquisitions in contemporary art and a number of works that have never been on view here at the Georgia Museum of Art. The exhibition foregrounds female, Black, Indigenous and queer perspectives, which allow the opportunity to consider the visualizations of landscapes beyond the traditionally canonized white, male-centered point of view. The use of abstraction by these artists further investigates the landscape genre as a vehicle for relaying social, political and environmental concerns ranging from Indigenous land stewardship to polluted waterways and the commercialization of natural wonders,” Hill said.

Related events include:

  • a tour by Hill on Sept. 28 at 2 p.m.
  • a Student Night on Sept. 29 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. organized by the Georgia Museum of Art Student Association
  • an Artful Conversation on Oct. 5 at 2 p.m.
  • a Toddler Tuesday on Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. (for ages 18 months to 3 years; free but register by emailing
  • and a Teen Studio on Nov. 10 from 5:30-8 p.m. for ages 13 to 18, with a studio project and free pizza (register by emailing

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Student Night is sponsored by the UGA Parents Leadership Council.