This Wednesday, November 9th at 7:30 pm: “Naturally Hypernatural” at the Austrian Cultural Forum

This coming Wednesday, VCS Department Chair Tom Huhn and several other members of the SVA community will be participating in the panel discussion Naturally Hypernatural at the Austrian Cultural Forum:



WEDNESDAY NOV 09, 07:30 PM – 09:00 PM

Naturally Hypernatural is a collaborative research project exploring the relation between “nature” and “art”. Launched by Sabine Flach in 2013, the project is a cooperation between the University of Graz, Austria and the School of Visual Arts (SVA), New York City. 

Sabine Flach, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Graz, will partake in a panel with art historian Tom Huhn and artists Suzanne Anker, Mathias Kessler, Gary Sherman, and Jeanne Silverthorne. The panelists will present new research and discuss the two recently published books Naturally Hypernatural I. Concepts of Nature and Naturally Hypernatural III. Hypernatural Landscapes in the Anthropocene.


Nature, a topic central to art history, is concurrently a dominant concept in contemporary art and art theory. It is equally important in related disciplines such as cultural theory, philosophy, aesthetic theory and environmental studies. Looking at recent tendencies in contemporary art, one can observe an increasing dominance of “nature”. Yet, its forms of appearance are radically new – a striking development given that the relation between “nature” and “art” is evidently not new in itself.
In the twentieth century, artistic practices, techniques, strategies and materials refer to an idea of nature that is in many ways subjected to domination. Land Art and the ecologico-aesthetical movement of Eco Art use nature as material. These movements have been discussed in a multitude of art-theoretical and philosophical reflections. The project Naturally Hypernatural questions lines of tradition and predetermined categories that coexist with the topic of nature.

In 2016, two books have been published in the context of this project: Naturally Hypernatural I. Concepts of Nature and Naturally Hypernatural III. Hypernatural Landscapes in the Anthropocene. Moreover, conferences and exhibitions dealing with the topic have been held at the University of Graz, at Kunsthaus Graz, Austria, and the School of Visual Arts, New York.


Sabine Flach is an art historian focusing on modern and contemporary art and theory, including interdisciplinary approaches to biology, psychology, philosophy and the sciences of cognition. She is Chair of the Institute for Art History at the University of Graz.

Suzanne Anker is a visual artist and theorist working at the intersection of art and the biological sciences. She works in a variety of disciplines ranging from digital sculpture and installation to large-scale photography to plants grown by LED lights. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally in museums and galleries including the Walker Art Center, the Smithsonian Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum in the US.

Tom Huhn is the chair of the Art History and BFA Visual & Critical Studies Departments at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His books include: Imitation and Society: The Persistence of Mimesis in the Aesthetics of Burke, Hogarth, and Kant, The Cambridge Companion to Adorno,The Wake of Art: Criticism, Philosophy, and the Ends of Taste, and The Semblance of Subjectivity: Essays in Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory.

Mathias Kessler received his MFA in Art Practice from the School of Visual Arts in 2012. He has exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Kunsthal Rotterdam; Site:Lab, Grand Rapids, Rosphot National Museum for Photography, St. Petersburg; GL Holtegaard Museum, Copenhagen; and Kunstraum Dornbirn.

Gary Sherman is a fine artist. He holds an undergraduate and graduate degree in fine arts from the School of Visual Art where he is a member of the Fine Arts Department faculty for Interdisciplinary Studies and Urban Botanicals, as well as one of the department’s Directors of Operations. His installations consisting of sculptures, videos and drawings are thematically connected to contemporary political and/or social issues.

Jeanne Silverthorne is a New York-based sculptor. Solo exhibitions include the Whitney Museum of Art, P.S. 1 (MOMA), Phillips Collection, Washington DC, Institute of Contemporary Art, Phila., as well as galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Verona, Seoul, Austria, and Ireland.

Austrian Cultural Forum New York City

11 East 52nd Street, New York

NY 10022

Visual & Critical Studies