Clifton Meador, “A Repeated Misunderstanding of Nature”

View of the laser-cut birch plywood slipcase that encloses all five leporellos

View of title page of Volume One

Reading view of pages 3-4 of Volume One

View of the covers of the five leporellos

View of pages 3-4 of Volume Two


Artist: Clifton Meador (Chicago, IL)

Title: A Repeated Misunderstanding of Nature (2012)

Medium/technique(s): Archival inkjet, offset litho, letterpress, laser-cut birch plywood

Edition size: 20

Number of pages: Five volumes, each with 8 spreads

Dimensions, open: 16 in x 88 in

Dimensions, closed: (Slipcase) 16 in x 5.5 in x 3.25 in


Artist Statement:

A Repeated Misunderstanding of Nature is a set of five leporello books, each presenting a sequence of woodland images from Vinalhaven Island in Maine. The border of each image includes a text from a long, imaginary lecture by a professor who—even though he sounds convinced—is actually confused about how to understand nature: he drifts between thinking of nature as something to read and nature as an anthropomorphic presence. This work was inspired by Chinese literati landscape painting, a mode of art that used images of nature as a vocabulary rather than as representation of specific landscapes. For these literati, landscape was a metaphor for personal experience: for the confused professor in A Repeated Misunderstanding of Nature, these pictures of the autumnal forests of Maine become a text that defeats reading.