For some people, large shade trees and rolling hills provide a sense of safe enclosure. Others find comfort in expansive views of open skies, such as the vistas of Texas. To them, it is calming to be able to acknowledge the land for as far as the eye can see. Our relationship to natural surroundings changes as we explore new horizons. We can learn to trade the muted tones of mountains seen through mists for the awe-inducing majesty of a wide expanse of colorful sunset or a cornucopia of stars in the uninterrupted night skies.
In art, a horizontal line separating two fields of color is the most basic tool in the artist’s arsenal to create the suggestion of a landscape. Where that line is placed influences our experience of the human relationship to the environment. From the time of the Renaissance, Western-trained artists of two dimensional works have relied on the system of linear perspective, with all lines converging at one or more vanishing points to create the illusion of depth on paper, canvas, or even a wall.
With works drawn from the Amon Carter’s permanent collection, Horizon Lines reminds us that our experience of space, our relationship to our environment—whether the sea, land, or constructed urban landscape—shifts depending on our different points of view.