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America Will Be!: Surveying the Contemporary Landscape

Dallas Museum of Art

Drawing on works from the DMA’s permanent collection, this exhibition presents the ways in which contemporary artists engage with landscapes, broadly defined, exploring how our natural and built environments intersect with our representations of ourselves and our communities. The landscape has been both a traditional art historical genre and a means of mythologizing the origins of American history and culture as a colonial product, creating an image of unclaimed terrain that erased the people who already inhabited it. 

“America will be!” is the rousing closing line of the 1935 poem “Let America Be America Again,” in which Langston Hughes argues for a vision of America—and for what it is to be American—that includes the multiplicity of experiences at both the margins and the center, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or origin. This exhibition explores how contemporary “landscapes” might better reflect the full diversity of the peoples who inhabit North and South America. 

Image: Thomas Struth, Dallas Parking Lot, Dallas, 2001, C-print mounted on Plexiglas, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, 2002.51, © Thomas Struth, 2019

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