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The Reconstructed Landscape Series (2019 - )




In the Reconstructed Landscape Series, the idea of loss and a point of no return are the underlying concepts of the paintings. The process and end result of these works demonstrate a simple analogy to our relationship with the natural environment    we cannot go back in time to undo what has already been done; we can only move forward and put back the pieces as best we can.

In this series, the landscapes are first painted. Then they are cut, sawn, torn, or ripped apart, to be put back together again. Sometimes the reconstruction of a landscape is logical and systematic, in reference to a desire for order and logic; at other times it is haphazard and chaotic. 

These landscapes until now have been limited to two simple areas of color to indicate the sky and the earth. I reduce the detail of the landscape to allow a focus on the destruction of the painting: the fractures, the cuts, the splinters of wood, or the torn edges of paper.

 The use of classic frames for a group of paintings within the Reconstructed Landscape Series is homage to the long tradition of landscape painting. The early romantic and majestic landscape paintings from the 1800s played a pivotal role in the promotion of Manifest Destiny and Western expansion in the United States, where I was born. These paintings inspired early settlers with visions of unspoiled land teeming with abundant natural resources. The framed landscapes now ubiquitous in many homes today are remnants of that past concept of utopia.

 The careless exploitation of our natural resources brings us to our present condition. As agent of the destructive process in the Reconstructed Landscape Series, I remind myself I am in part, the cause of the environmental problems we face.

Through the process of this work the destroyed landscapes are put back together once again, each a record of its own destruction and reconstruction.

Davis Birks


Reconstructed Landscape 2, 2019

Acrylic paint on found wood panel
18 x 32 x 3.5 cm.


Reconstructed Landscape 5, 2019

Acrylic paint on found wood panel
68 x 36 x 8 cm.

Reconstructed Landscape 7

Reconstructed Landscape 7, 2019

Acrylic paint on found wood panel
110 x 111 x 2 cm.



Reconstructed Landscape 10, 2019

Acrylic paint on found wood panel
14 x 16 x 5 cm.


Reconstructed Landscape 13, 2019

Acrylic paint on found wood panel
26 x 34 x 20 cm.


Reconstructed Landscape 18, 2019

 Acrylic paint on found wood panel
c/u 25 x 20 x 2 cm



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