The landscape genre falls within most viewers’ comfort zone. There won’t be spilled viscera, terrifying grimaces, jolting automatons or other assaults on delicate sensibilities. Fittingly, the Norton Museum of Art’s exhibition, Pastures Green, Dark Satanic Mills: The British Passion for Landscape offers pristine skies, pastures and lakes, but those “dark satanic mills” do project shadows.
Encompassing works from the 1660s to the early 2000s, these 65 paintings (mostly) present a specific focus on man’s place in nature, shedding light on social and environmental issues. The exhibition was curated by Tim Barringer from Yale University and Oliver Fairclough, Keeper of Art at the National Museum Wales. It draws exclusively from the Welsh museum’s extensive collections.
Cheryl Brutvan, the Norton’s director of curatorial affairs, arranged and installed the works to best utilize the museum’s architecture and gallery spaces “to illustrate the curatorial view.” In one room this highlights coherence and distinctions among works