University at Buffalo
Department of


Art & Design

Art History

Visual Studies

New Course | AHI 594 Landscape: Theory & Practice

July 22, 2009  by: Dom

Assistant Professor Lori Johnson

Spring 2010, Registration #445212


This course will carefully review existing scholarship, criticism and theory in elaborating an up-to-date overview and methodology for approaching the development of landscape as a cultural phenomenon during the modern era. As a cultural construction, landscape, whether physical or artistic, is essentially a reproduction of spatial practices and perceptions that are determined by syntagmatic relations. Hence, the study of landscape might be based upon an approach that examines the general structures that underlie the many forms of spatial reproduction through which experience is articulated. Recent trends in the study of the relationship between gardens, designed landscapes and landscape painting have tended to focus on the role of spatial images and representations in the production and dissemination of knowledge about the material world. Art and architectural historians, social historians, cultural geographers, sociologists and anthropologists have viewed landscape as both a cultural form and a social practice, a natural sign and a mode of cultural signification, one that produces and is in turn a product of a complex set of historical, economic and political relations. Given the range of interpretive strategies for the study of landscape, it is no wonder that it has been difficult to discern within the field a unifying method or set of underlying principles that might determine what we study and how. The purpose of this course is to discover a general method for the study of landscape by uncovering the common structures that organize the various forms of spatial representation, which include but are not limited to gardens and designed landscapes, landscape painting, photography, as well as site specific art.

202 Center for the Arts, North Campus
Buffalo, New York 14260-6010
(716) 645-6878
(716) 645-6970 fax
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