Heller Gallery is pleased to present Cities Underwater, our third solo exhibition of work by American artist Norwood Viviano.
In Cities Underwater Viviano turns his attention from population and cartographic shifts of the past to the future. Viviano conceived the project to visualize the dramatic loss of land predicted to occur in the next 500 years in areas that some 127 million Americans call home. ‘The adaptation needed to mitigate the impending changes that will affect our life, history and culture is massive. The Cities Underwater work is aimed at keeping this conversation alive and not forgoing it for short-term convenience or gain,’ says Viviano.
The installation is comprised of sixteen sets of nesting glass cylinders, which represent 16 coastal cities in the United States. Using existing LiDAR data and scientific projections, Viviano shows the projected loss of land mass due to sea level rise in Boston, Galveston, Miami Beach, Miami, Mobile, New Orleans, Newark, New York, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Francisco, Savannah, Seattle, St. Petersburg and Tacoma. Each set is accompanied by vinyl cut drawings and animation, which provide additional data.
Eva Horn, cultural theory professor at the University of Vienna, Austria wrote that ‘humanity is exiting the safe operating space of the Holocene, the geological epoch, which saw the emergence of everything we have come to call civilization. In the summer of 2016 geologists suggested to rename the present geological era Anthropocene, citing irreversible species loss, resource depletion, and global warming. While the massive environmental crisis of the Anthropocene may be a hyperobject that defies direct representation, it calls for the creation of evidence, of perceptibility, of documents – the rendering of a fleeting world. What is needed are bodies of evidence for a transformation that is both so massive and so tiny, that is happening so fast and so slowly that no image or narrative can ever grasp its breadth. How can we start to sense what we only know abstractly? Producing such bodies of evidence seems like an impossibility – and at the same time, more necessary than ever.’
Norwood Viviano received a BFA from Alfred University and an MFA in Sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work has been shown at the Venice Architectural Biennale (2014), Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX (2013); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2015), Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park (2016), Bellevue Art Museum (2016), Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (2016) as well as at MOCA Jacksonville (2017). Recent solo exhibitions include Grand Rapids Art Museum in Grand Rapids, MI (2015); Heller Gallery, New York, NY (2011, 2014, 2016); Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk VA (2016) and Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY (2017-18). His work is represented in the collections of major museums including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX; Museum of Glass, Corning, NY; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C., deYoung Museum, San Francisco, CA; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA; Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague, Czech Republic; Shanghai Museum of Glass, Shanghai, China; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI and the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA.