Exploring Art Resources

Ai Weiwei

Examplar: Sunflower Seeds, 2010

Inquiry Questions: Why is it important to consider perspective (point-of-view) and perception (personal way of understanding) when viewing a work of art? When making a work of art?

Big SUnflowers


  • The artwork consists of 100 million hand-painted porcelain seeds at  1,000 square meters and 10 cm deep in a Tate Museum gallery.
  • Symbolizes the growth of materialism, globalization, and mass-production in China, and the increasing impotence of the modern worker, creating meaningless products for distant, demanding markets.
  • The seeds were also potent symbols of the Cultural Revolution.
  • The characterization of Mao as the sun, and the faithful as sunflowers turning to face him, was commonplace.



Maya Lin

Exemplar: Disappearing Bodies of Water-Arctic Ice, 2013

Inquiry Questions: Why is it important to research and examine knowledge from  (or have knowledge of) other disciplines when viewing a work of art? When making a work of art?

Artic Ice


  • According to Lin, Disappearing Bodies of Water has an important and alarming message: This is what we’ve lost. This is what we’re losing. This is what we still have to lose.
  •  In this work, Lin asks the viewer to reconsider their relationship to nature at time when–according to her–“it is critical to do so.”
  • Though Lin is known for her masterful earthworks and giant-scale memorials, this this work focuses on more personal, more handmade objects and installations, and on the artist’s self-labeled “obsession” with water – wave forms, undersea topography, disappearing lakes and rivers.
  • Using painstakingly researched data and Vermont marble, Lin re-presents the lakes, ice caps, and oceans that are drying up due to climate change.
  • Disappearing Bodies preserves and memorializes these specific bodies of water, calling attention to the erosion of natural life forms.



David Brooks

Exemplars: Desert Rooftops (2011–12)

Inquiry Questions: Why should artists create art to change the world? To change peoples’ opinions. To educate? Why do artists create art?



  • David Brooks explains that the rambling rooftops in Desert Rooftops are inspired by the housing boom and bust in South Florida, “heedlessly encroaching on the protected Everglades like a virus.”
  • Seen as a whole, the undulating profile of shingled roofs takes on the appearance of a desert landscape of rolling dunes. Brooks’s humorous critique of McMansion architecture metaphorically links suburban sprawl to the contemporary environmental problem of desertification.
  • Breaking with the resource-devouring logic of home construction, at the project’s completion Brooks and the Art Production Fund recycled all the materials through the non-profit housing organizations Build It Green and Habitat for Humanity.
  • In general, David Brooks’s work investigates the relationship between individuals and their built and natural environments, challenging the terms under which nature is perceived.
  • His large-scale sculptures and installations are typically fabricated in materials used in urban infrastructure such as concrete, stainless steel and hardware machinery.
  • Brooks questions what he describes as the ‘disconnect’ between projections or ideas of the environment, and the reality, and aims to counter a perceived lack of empathy, in which the natural world becomes a hypothetical, removed concept.
  • His industrially-informed structures are frequently installed outdoors, in surroundings that highlight the dichotomous relationship between man and nature, such as urban parks or, as in the case of his acclaimed concrete stampede of animals, before it was moved to a gallery space, in the midst of an area populated by wild sea birds.


18 Green Artists Who Are Making Climate Change And Conservation A Priority

  • Olafur Eliasson’s Icebergs
  • David Maisel’s Photographs of Open Pit Mines
  • Luzinterruptus’ Waste Labyrinth
  • Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi’s Harvest Dome
  • John Sabraw’s Toxic Sludge Paintings
  • Naziha Mestaoui’s Virtual Forests


  • Rachel Sussman’s Oldest Things
  • Barry Underwood’s Electric Landscapes
  • Paulo Grangeon’s 1,600 Pandas
  • Daan Roosegaarde’s Vacuum
  • Aida Sulova’s Trash Cans
  • Gabriel Orozco’s Found Objects


  • Chris Jordan’s Portraits of Consumption
  • rAndom International’s Rain Room
  • Agnes Denes’s Wheat Fields
  • Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Surrounded Islands
  • Mathilde Roussel’s Living Sculptures
  • Pedro Reyes’ Grasshopper Burgers

QUEENS MUSEUM Opening Preview

Go to: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/15/environmental-art_n_5585288.html for more information about each of these artists.