Environmental Art: Nils Udo

Environmental Art: Nils Udo

“By elevating the natural space to a work of art, I opened myself to reality, to the liveliness of nature – I had overcome the gap between art and life.” These are the words of ‘the master of environmental art’, Nils Udo.

‘Crack in Lava, Blossoms known as “Lanternes”’ (1998)

Since his rejection of conventional painting in the sixties, this renowned sculptor and photographer – perhaps best-known for his cover design work for Peter Gabriel’s OVO album – has been “drawing with flowers, painting with clouds and writing with water”.

With a mutualist vision and nature as his omnipresent backdrop, he links human and natural history; using natural, site-specific materials to create his ephemeral installations, exemplified in the likes of the well-known ‘Nest’ (1978), ‘Maison d’eau’ (1982) and ‘Crack in Lava, Blossoms known as “Lanternes”’ (1998).

Udo’s latest show is at La Seine Musicale, Ile Seguin, Boulogne Billancourt in France – an in-situ installation of unique work, composed of earth, planted wicker rods and branches, with variable dimensions.

Now, as the need for reconnection with nature becomes louder and clearer, Udo’s work seems more poignant than ever.

He reminds us that “potential utopias are under every stone, on every leaf and behind every tree…