At 88, Agnes Denes Finally Gets the Retrospective She Deserves

She set out to change humanity. Now a superbly installed survey at the Shed charts this visionary artist’s 50-year journey.

Comments: 18

  1. Stunning artistic ability and so glad Agnes Denes got the Retrospective. Brilliant use plants as art. Great article and photos.

  2. I loved her work when I first heard of it and I'm so glad she is getting a retrospective.

  3. Monet broke the boundaries of his time with his imagination. People back then had similar reactions to your reaction to this artist.

  4. One Woman’s art is another’s environmental engineering project...I will stick to Monet.

  5. @Stefanie What this oeuvre shows so elegantly: art is about questions, engineering is about answers...

  6. So glad to read about her. The work is beautiful -- wish I could see the exhibit itself, rather than just the NY Times photos, stunning as they are. I love Monet too; I bet he'd appreciate Agnes Denes.

  7. At a time when intelligence, beauty, and big ideas can seem all too rare, this retrospective is an important reminder that they can co-exist in works of art that challenge us to expand our sense of what is possible. Agnes Denes is respected world-wide. Now it's possible for New York City to rediscover why. Bravo to The Shed!

  8. CONGRATULATIONS, AGNES! Your work is spectacular ... beautiful, intellectual and perfectly timed. You created so many beautiful installations and "earth works" before the world became aware of the fragility of our beautiful planet. I am so thrilled to see you receiving the honors and attention that you and your art so richly deserve. Be well, live long and keep on dreaming and CREATING!

  9. Awesome art. Just a thought - perhaps farmers should call themselves artists, and then, just as Agnes Denes was able to send her Manhattan wheat all over, art farmers might also be able to - freed from the incredible and lybyrinthian government efforts to control the sale and distribution of their products. Just a thought...

  10. So much of contemporary art is commodified, male-dominated, fame driven. Denes’ works are both testaments to, and reminders of, our humanity and the obligation of stewardship we owe to our planet. It’s lasting, refreshing, breathtaking; art not simply for art’s sake, but for our sake. Wonderful.

  11. I heard her talk at the Fort Worth Modern many years ago. I consider her to be the consummate artist and wish she was as universally recognised as Ai Weiwei.

  12. As a little boy riding next to my Uncle Magnus up on his D2 Cat at he plowed his 2000 acre wheat farm in North Dakota, did I realize like I know now that I was there in the presence of artistic genius. Thank you Agnes for helping to see what should have been obvious.

  13. What a great article! The photos of Wheatfield are fantastic.

  14. I cringed when I read: "....the ancient, energy-channeling form of the pyramid..." Memo to Holland Cotter: this is no longer the 1970s.

  15. Any millennial shouting “okay boomer” needs to take a closer look. Denes, and others, have been on the frontlines of environmental art for decades. Her Wheatfield was an influence on my own art, most notably in my recently completed “eco” novel. It’s heartening to see her work being showcased at this moment.

  16. I saw this exhibit last week and I can’t recommend it enough. The land works described here are wonderful, but there is far more. The combination of philosophical depth and aesthetic inspiration are mind blowing.

  17. Extraordinary exhibit! Definitely visit the 4th floor first, then the 2nd floor!!! That way, you’ll work up to the best grand finale. Don’t miss it.

  18. Wheat field in the middle of NYC. The contrast stops you dead in your tracks. Having grown up on a farm this is deeply impressionable to me. A nice counter point would be to put a large modern art sculpture in the middle of the small rural town near our farm. Very smart person this Agnes.