Exploring Science Fiction: Apocalyptic Sublime
Barnaby Furnas’s Flood, 2007
Just one more day until the Science Fiction Film Festival presented in conjunction with Kelly Richardson: Legion during M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY. Today we turn our attention to a theme that has long been of interest to artists and science fiction filmmakers alike.
The Sublime has been a favored subject of landscape painters throughout art history. However, at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, John Martin (British, 1789–1854) painted large-scale depictions of Biblical tales that portrayed a more foreboding and destructive version of Mother Nature, which resonated with his contemporaries. Large crowds consistently waited in queues for blocks to see Martin’s work.
Fast forward more than two hundred years and the public continues to be fascinated with narratives depicting the eradication of life as we know it on Earth. From aliens and zombies to extreme weather, even contemporary artists have turned their attention to the subject. Flood by Barnaby Furnas (American, born 1973) calls to mind epic visions of nature overtaking land in a swath of red anger—a timely and alarming reminder of our place on Earth amid the destruction caused by recent natural disasters.
Image courtesy of Anthony Meier Fine Arts. © 2007 Barnaby Furnas.