Landscape Vernacular

Dog Star Rising [Landscape Vernacular 6] by Todd Bartel
18.5″x18.375″; burnished paper-marquetry, recto: 19th-century endpapers, marbled paper, weathered library bulletin board paper, found ink-imbued card, xerographic transfers, weathered wallpaper remnant, atlas chart, map graticules, dictionary letter tab, gummed gold-foil star, pencil, antique cellophane tape; verso: 19th- and 20th-century endpaper cuttings for seam-support, document repair tape, Yes Glue; artist-made frame; 2011 and 2014. Courtesy of the artist.


Todd Bartel: Landscape Vernacular

at the Art Center at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts, USA
7 February-10 April 2024

Todd Bartel’s “Landscape Vernacular” series is an ongoing, decade-long research-based collage series addressing the history of land depiction and changing attitudes about land use and ecology. Catalyzed by interlocking combinations of dictionary definitions, texts, and images, “Landscape Vernacular” collages juxtapose vintage imagery and ephemera from the 18th- through 21st centuries, chronicling the dawn of the Anthropocene.

Gravity Roads—America Learns to Shoot 1829-1888 [Landscape Vernacular 23] by Todd Bartel
20″x26″; burnished paper-marquetry; recto: xerographic prints on 19th- and 20th-century end-papers inserted into weathered library bulletin board paper, xerographic transfers; verso: document repair tape, 19th- and 20th-century endpaper cuttings for seam-support, Yes Glue; artist-made frame; 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

Todd Bartel writes about the work:
The “Landscape Vernacular” collage series is an ongoing body of work I began in the spring of 2011 that explores landscape history, terminology, and imagery while pushing the boundaries of what collage can be—finding, minding, and binding. I cull definitions from a collection of dictionaries dating from the 1800s to the present, and I incorporate text and imagery from various landscape-related publications and etymological sources. I juxtapose definitions with period ephemera and imagery to explore ideas and attitudes about land and land use, addressing the history of landscape depiction, American identity, contemporary ecological imperatives, and subsequent existential questions raised by these juxtapositions. Each work in the series is a singular rumination on select terminology, with a unique collection process and, ultimately, a hybrid fabrication process. The series’ aesthetic is visually eclectic, materially limited, and rule-based. The austere look of the series emanates from self-imposed limitations with content, materials, and processes to reduce abstract, complicated subjects to essences and iconographic associations that juxtapose the past with the present to encourage reexamination.

(text adapted from material provided by the gallery and the artist)


Art Center Gallery
Miriam Hall
Anna Maria College
50 Sunset Lane
Paxton, Massachusetts 01612 USA
(508) 849-3464

Monday-Friday, 9AM-4PM