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Mar 22–Apr 27, 1972

The Topography of Nature

The Topography of Nature, installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania.
About

The Topography of Nature

Tom AkawieBoyd AllenEd BaynardCynthia CarlsonVija CelminsLlyn FoulkesPeter GutkinIra Joel HaberMablen JonesBill MartinGeorgia O’KeefeElizabeth OsborneReeva PotoffSam RichardsonPat SteirWayne ThiebaudJoseph E. Yoakum

“The Lakota was a true naturist – a lover of Nature. He loved the earth and all things on the
earth, the attachment growing with age. The old people came literally to love the soil and they
sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good
for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk
with bare feet on the sacred earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were
made of earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest upon the earth and it was the final
abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing,
and healing….

[…] The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he
knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.
SO, he kept his youth close to its softening influence.”

  • Chief Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle, Houghton and Mifflin Company, Boston
    and New York, pp. 192-197
Installation Views