A public garden & cultural center

Diane Burko

Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath–Force of Nature
Glyndor Gallery | June 7– September 7, 2015


Pictured Above: Halema’uma’u Crater (1961) #2, 2000, oil on canvas, 60" x 84". Courtesy of the artist


While the force of nature has always attracted Diane Burko, her landscape investigations have become more scientific in the last decade as the urgency of climate change has intensified. The two paintings presented come from different periods in the artist’s work. In Halema’uma’u Crater (1961) #2, Burko employs aerial photography from the time of the 1961 eruption to focus on the molten lava flow. The vibrant, red palette induces a sense of impending violence. In 19th-century Romantic landscape paintings, a volcano’s fierceness would have been depicted from a distance, the danger implied but out of reach.

Artists today have the advantage of developments in geology, meteorology and photography. Burko records her extensive travels through photography and returns to the studio to immerse herself in painting. For Arctic Cyclone, August 2012 after NASA, she began the painting by examining satellite imagery to depict an uncommonly extreme summer storm that may have been responsible for loosening the ice cover. Her vantage point would have been unthinkable for painters such as Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt, but is familiar to contemporary viewers of the Weather Channel. In addition to traveling widely in Iceland and Greenland, Burko has undertaken investigations that have brought her to both the North and South Polar Regions over the past two years.

The Volcano series was shown in 2001 at the Locks Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, with a catalogue that included an essay by Carter Radcliff. More recent solo exhibitions of work inspired by climate change have taken place at Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; LewAllen Galleries, Santa Fe, NM; and Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA. Burko received a BFA from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


Pictured above: Arctic Cyclone, August 2012 after NASA, 2013, oil on canvas, 60” x 84”, courtesy of the artist

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The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.