Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene

On view Sept. 18 – Dec. 8, 2018

USC Fisher Museum of Art proudly announces a timely exhibition that depicts how humans are directly and indirectly impacting the planet. Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene is presented by USC Fisher Museum of Art in collaboration with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA).

The exhibition features 24 works by Justin Brice Guariglia, including one work—the 11 feet by 16 feet Jakobshavn I depicting one of Greenland’s fastest-melting glaciers—to be displayed across the street at NHMLA. Earth Works, traveling from the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, FL, where it debuted and was curated by Tim B. Wride, that museum’s William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography, opens on September 18, 2018 and runs through December 8, 2018.

Justin Brice Guariglia is a transdisciplinary artist, who in 2015 and 2016, flew seven times with NASA as part of Operation Ice Bridge, a survey mission of Greenland to study how melting glaciers affect sea level rise. Guariglia’s photographic works, which can be viewed as blurring the line between photography and painting, explore our current ecological crisis. Ranging in scale from as small as 2.5 x 3.3 feet to as large as 12 x 16 feet, these images illustrate Greenland’s melting and deteriorating glacial ice sheets and sea ice in stunning detail and on a monumental scale. Other images reflect the impact of agriculture and mining on the Earth’s surface.

The Anthropocene—the age in which humans’ permanent mark on the entire planet, from the far reaches of the atmosphere to the lowest depths of the ocean—represents a new era in geologic history. The images Guariglia took during his flights with NASA, as well as previous works taken from his travels across Asia, serve to illustrate with visual evidence, and through metaphor, the complexity of human impact on the planet.

Guariglia uses an ultra-archival printing process to build layers of acrylic on substrates giving the works a physical depth and dimension. Incorporating materials such as polystyrene, gold, palladium and pewter-leafed panels, and aircraft grade aluminum.

This exhibition is organized by the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, and was made possible by the generosity of Vanessa and Anthony Beyer. Additional support was provided by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the William and Sarah Ross Soter Photography Fund and the Sydell and Arthur I. Meyer Endowment Fund at the Norton Museum of Art.

Image 1: Justin Brice Guariglia, Baffin Bay II, 2015 / 2016, Acrylic, carbon black gesso, linen, aluminum panel, raw steel artist’s frame, 40 x 30 x 0.6 in. Courtesy of the Artist.
Image 2: Justin Brice Guariglia, Narsaarsuk I, 2015, fabricated 2017, Acrylic, polystyrene panel, 48 x 64 x 1.75 in. Courtesy of the Artist.