The term ‘picturesque’ refers to a certain kind of landscape that was considered suitable as a subject for a painting, as well as to a part of reality that could be looked upon as if it were a painting. It is remarkable that a lot of contemporary artists are fascinated by the hybrid landscape in which the differences between centre and periphery, between city and countryside and between nature and culture are no longer clearly defined. Furthermore the present natural landscape is to a large extent and on a global scale colonized and domesticated by means of a worldwide spread of images in the form of works of art and all kinds of media images of landscapes in film, television, tourism, etc.
The exhibition curated by Jacobs and Maes in the S.M.A.K. wanted to investigate how the concept of ‘the picturesque’ can still (or again) be applied to artistic interpretations of the present landscape. This book presents 198 images and texts of several authors.