1 June– 25 August 2024

Agnes Denes: Exercises in Eco-Logic

With her visual philosophy and strong environmental engagement, Agnes Denes wants to help humanity through artistic interventions.

With her visual philosophy and strong environmental engagement, Agnes Denes wants to help humanity through artistic interventions. As a pioneer of land art and ecological debate she has, since the 1960s, used artistic as well as scientific, mathematical, and philosophical methods to investigate and influence humankind’s impact on the environment.

After the Second World War her family moved from Budapest to Sweden, where they spent several significant years before moving on to the United States. Denes started her artistic practice as a poet but, guided by recurrent changes of languages, she turned to visual art.

As a teenager in Sweden, she formulated her first environmental work, Bird Project A Visual Investigation of Systems in Motion, following migratory birds through the skies. With the support of Lunds konsthall, Denes, revisits her original concept and creates a new version of this project.

It will now be shown for the first time, together with Denes’s own photographs of Wheatfield A Confrontation: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan (1982) and Rice/Tree/Burial (1977–79).

Denes’s Time Capsule consists of a capsule with messages to the future that will be collected throughout the exhibition. After the collection the capsule will be ritually buried and laid to rest for 1000 years.

Agnes Denes (born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1931) lives and works in New York. She has participated in more than 700 exhibitions and has realised public commissions all over the world. She is internationally recognised as the leading pioneer of the environmental art movement and a primary figure in creating concept-based art.


The full-scale survey exhibition Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates took place at The Shed, New York in 2019, following three previous museum retrospectives. Denes has participated in such major international surveys as Documenta 6 and Documenta 14 in Kassel, the Venice Biennales of 1978, 1980, 2001 and 2022 and group shows at major institutions worldwide including, among many others, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and most recently the Hayward and Barbican Art Galleries in London, the Louisiana Museum of Art in Humlebæk, Denmark, and Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

She has received grants and fellowships from, among many others, the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy in Rome, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh or the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at M.I.T. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She also holds honorary doctorates from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin.

Agnes Denes is the author of six books and her work is regularly featured in a variety of publications on a wide range of topics within art and the environment.

Image: Agnes Denes, Wheatfield - A Confrontation: Battery Park Landfill, Downtown Manhattan - Cloudy Sky, 1982. Copyright Agnes Denes, Courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects

Curators: Laura Goldschmidt and Åsa Nacking