top of page

"Spring to Fall": Sam Falls’ 50-Meter Tribute to Nature at Art Basel Unlimited 2024

This year at Art Basel Basel Unlimited, American artist Sam Falls showcased his monumental artwork, “Spring to Fall”, presented by 303 Gallery, Galleria Franco Noero, and Galerie Eva Presenhuber. Spanning nearly 50 meters in length, this piece captures the essence of the four seasons as they evolve outdoors in New York’s Hudson Valley. Falls spread the canvas across a field, placing local and native plants from early autumn and late summer on top, allowing nature to leave its mark. During the art week, we had the opportunity to interview Sam Falls about his remarkable creation.


Installation view

Sam Falls, Spring to Fall, 2023-2024, Pigment on canvas, 366 x 4572 cm / 144 x 1800 in

Courtesy the artist, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / Vienna, Galleria Franco Noero, Turin, and 303 Gallery, New York

Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography, Zürich


When asked about the inspiration behind “Spring to Fall,” Falls shared, “My practice is to represent a primary source or an experience of nature that is translated through the artwork to the viewer rather than being mediated by any kind of technology or other elements that would disturb this direct connection.” Falls’ background in photography and video art played a significant role in shaping his approach. He expressed frustration with how technology often overshadowed the natural elements in art, prompting him to seek a purer connection between nature and the viewer.

 

Falls recounted a transformative experience from his teenage years that deeply influenced his work. “When I was a teenager, I went on a trip to the forests of Wyoming, backpacking and camping for a month and a half. At the end of it, I was alone for 15 days and had this profound connection to nature in a way I never had before. I think I reached a kind of purity and detachment from society, money, and education that changed my whole perspective on life.” This deep connection to nature has since become a driving force in his art, leading him to explore the symbolic qualities of local plants and their connection to specific places.

 

Falls’ unique technique involves using a special pigment, which reacts with water to create vibrant dyes around the plants. “It’s a special pigment in powder form, and when rain or moisture in the atmosphere comes, it sets the dye around the plants. The different weather conditions really affect the overall outcome, so you’re capturing not just the plants but the atmosphere.”




Installation view

Sam Falls, Spring to Fall, 2023-2024, Pigment on canvas, 366 x 4572 cm / 144 x 1800 in

Courtesy the artist, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich / Vienna, Galleria Franco Noero, Turin, and 303 Gallery, New York

Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography, Zürich


Falls also discussed his collaboration with a museum in Japan, which led to an innovative project combining painting and ceramics. “The original idea was to make the work in Shigaraki(one of the leading pottery producing areas in Japan) outside of Kyoto, pressing plants into wet clay to create a fossil-like impression. Due to COVID, I had to create the piece at home in the Hudson Valley, and the ceramicists in Shigaraki translated my painting onto ceramic through a printing process.” This cross-cultural collaboration expanded Falls’ perspective on his work and highlighted the adaptability of his methods.

 

Exhibiting at Art Basel Unlimited for the fourth time, Falls expressed his excitement about the scale and impact of “Spring to Fall.” “When I was asked to do Unlimited again, I really wanted to find something special. The size of the painting is the maximum size of the wall we can get at Unlimited, so it has a very site-specific goal. It was a challenge to make such a large work over a year, but I feel great about it.” The year-long creation process allowed Falls to capture the essence of each season, from the blossoming of spring to the decay of fall, creating a poignant representation of the cycle of life.



Comments


bottom of page