In March, the art world rallied to call for the protection of Nevada’s Basin and Range area, a landscape of rich archaeological resources and the site of Michael Heizer’s sprawling land art piece, “City” (1972–present). The region has faced numerous environmental threats, including a plan to develop a nuclear waste rail line, but last night the White House announced that President Barack Obama will sign a proclamation designating it a national monument, effectively protecting the 704,000-acre area. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, the new monument is the second designated in the state within the last eight months (following the Tule Springs designation in December). The Basin and Range National Monument joins a list of over 100 such sites across the US.
Heizer, whose ongoing outdoor sculpture is over a mile long and blends with the craggy landscape, will attend the signing in Washington, DC, along with Senator Harry Reid, who last year spearheaded efforts to conserve the region. In an official announcement the White House called the Basin and Range “an iconic American landscape,” emphasizing the significance of its over 4,000-year-old rock art that “serves as an irreplaceable resource for archaeologists, historians, and ecologists.” The statement also acknowledges the significance of Heizer’s work:
The area is also home to ‘City,’ one of the most ambitious examples of the distinctively American land-art movement. Located on privately-held land in Garden Valley, the work by artist Michael Heizer combines modern abstract architecture and engineering with ancient American aesthetic influences.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, home to Heizer’s famous “Levitated Mass,” celebrated the announcement on Twitter, announcing, “Michael Heizer’s CITY is safe!” In a statement on Thursday, Michael Govan, LACMA’s director and CEO also praised the White House for taking on the responsibility of preserving Heizer’s work.
“Heizer is among the greatest living American artists, and he has worked, ostensibly alone in the desert, for more than four decades realizing this monumental achievement,” Govan said. “President Obama’s action [will] cement ‘City’s’ place in the history of art and American culture.”
Preservation for posterity is a challenge many earthworks face. “Lightning Field” (1977), erected by Walter De Maria in the New Mexico desert, has for decades battled nature’s forces; the Dia Art Foundation, which commissioned the work, is working to restore it, with Larry Gagosian as a major backer. Debate has also cropped up over protecting Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” (1970), the black basalt rock structure jutting into Utah’s Great Salt Lake. The jetty faces both natural and industrial threats, but conservationists have questioned whether Smithson, who was interested in the concept of entropy, would have actually wanted restoration efforts to proceed. Dia currently has a documentation project to record the sculpture’s year-to-year changes, stating on its website that it “ensures to do everything in its power to preserve the artwork, and it is committed to maintaining a photographic record of the work and documenting changes to the piece over time.”
This week, artist studios in Harlem, Tennessee, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn.
The museum enlisted the help of Linda Bove, the first Deaf actor to be part of Sesame Street’s recurring cast, to help bring artworks from the collection to a Deaf audience.
This exhibition marks 20 years of Arrechea’s solo career with watercolors, sculptures, and multimedia installations created specifically for ArtYard in Frenchtown, New Jersey.
The student screening of Till emphasized an important aim of the film: to educate young people about the fierce love and activism of Mamie Till-Mobley, which played no small part in igniting the Civil Rights Movement.
A painting now exhibited at the Nasjonalmuseet captures Judith and her maidservant in the moment after slaying Holofernes and before their escape, as though veritably peering out of frame.
The New York-based, globally linked, and practice-focused curatorial program for professionals at the School of Visual Arts offers the opportunity to create three funded exhibitions.
The statue was found in a town square in Philippi and adorned a building that may have been a public fountain in the Byzantine period.
In an age dominated by narcissism and material excess, Acheson’s anti-heroic position as an admirer of other artists should be something that we reflect upon.
Featuring over 70 installations and performances at the George Washington University’s historic Flagg Building, the Corcoran’s end-of-year showcase is now available for virtual viewing.
Inspired by Charles Babbage’s idea of air as “atmospheric memory,” In the Air considers air as a common space that belongs to and affects the whole of humanity.
The episode focused on Western museums’ hesitant repatriation efforts and auction houses’ questionable consignment practices.
The committee’s main responsibilities will be to shape policy goals, stimulate arts philanthropy, and advocate for the expansion of federal backing of the cultural sector.