Artists Saving the Environment

Top 5 Environmental Artists Shaking Up the Art World

Clemson clay nest by Nils-Udo (2005) via designboom

As the primal creator, Nature could be considered the world’s most powerful and influential artist. And standing at the junction of art and nature are environmental artists, who are often balanced on an intermediary edge, searching and synthesizing creative, unimagined new ways to redefine our relationship with nature. Working with a wide range of materials–ranging from the raw, the found, to the discarded, environmental art can be evocative, provocative or sublime, and oftentimes communicates an urgent message. From the scores of talented environmental artists out there, we’ve rounded up some greats and a couple of emerging ones too–read on, and feel free to add to the list!

1. Andy Goldsworthy: Raw Environmental Art

Rowan Leaves & Hole by Andy Goldsworthy via Matt Thomas

Probably one of the better known environmental artists, British-born Andy Goldsworthy is famous for his site-specific, ephemeral work employing colorful flowers, leaves, mud, twigs, snow, icicles, and stones. He typically uses his bare hands, teeth, even saliva to prepare and assemble his pieces. Some of his art pieces, such as those featured in video Rivers and Tides, are designed to decay or disappear with the ebb and flow of nature. Goldsworthy characterizes his art in this way: “Movement, change, light, growth, and decay are the life-blood of nature, the energies that I try to tap through my work.”

2. Artist-Naturalist Nils-Udo: Potential utopias

Nid d’eau, Chiemgau, High Bavaria, Germany (2001) via sajehau

Bavarian artist Nils-Udo has been working directly with nature for more than three decades. His lyrical pieces–or what he calls “potential utopias” of giant  read  more at-


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