This exhibition explores how artists represent prolific growth, expansion, and transformation in the natural world and the built environment. Coiling vines and other forms of unruly vegetation spread across the surfaces of paintings and works on paper. Scenes of vast urban construction convey the pinnacle of human ambition and ingenuity, as well as the negative effects of overdevelopment of the land. Artworks inspired by cellular mutation and the expansion of the universe reveal an equal fascination with microscopic and cosmic levels of transformation.

Overgrowth also examines how generative growth and additive processes are instrumental to the making of art. Viewers will observe different speeds of artistic creation, from slow, meticulous brushstrokes to rapid, painterly gestures. Biomorphic sculptures on view expand outward into real space, as if compelled by a vital life force. Drawn from deCordova’s permanent collection—and featuring work by international, national, and New England artists acquired over the past fifty years—this exhibition demonstrates how ongoing change spans natural, man-made, and creative enterprises.

Artists in the exhibition:

Albert Alcalay, Laylah Ali, Sandra Allen, Jean Arp, Bremner Benedict, Robert Bermelin, Barbara Bosworth, Alan Bray, Nancy Burson, Jedediah Caesar, William Christopher, Brian D. Cohen, Leah De Prizio, Friedel Dzubas, Harold Edgerton, Chris Enos, Robert Eshoo, Larry Fink, Sean Foley, Lee Friedlander, Sheila Gallagher, Frank Gohlke, George Hagerty, Willy Heeks, Jon Imber, Constance Jacobson, Kieff, Laura Kim, Yeffe Kimball, Kurt Kranz, Alex S. MacLean, Mary Mattingly, Michael Mazur, Todd McKie. Laura McPhee, Henry Moore, Jeff Perrott, Rachel Perry, Gabor Peterdi, Bill Ravanesi, Cristi Rinklin, Aaron Rose, Donald Shambroom, David Benjamin Sherry, Edward Steichen, Barbara Takenaga, Lois Tarlow, Chris Taylor, Sumru Tekin, Harold Tovish, Sarah Walker, Gary Webb, David Wolf, Makoto Yabe

The exhibition is organized by Associate Curator Sarah Montross.

Funding generously provided by Robert E. Davoli and Eileen L. McDonagh, The Nathaniel Saltonstall Arts Fund, and Amy and Jonathan Poorvu.