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).
ROZEL POINT, Utah — Beginning with childhood visits to the American Museum of Natural History and continuing with excursions to study rock formations throughout his adult life, Robert Smithson cultivated a lifelong obsession with natural (and human) history that explicitly informed his artwork, including the Spiral Jetty, his most well-known piece.
WENDOVER, UTAH — Land use has got to be one of the least sexy topics of conversation.
In 1972, the Land Art pioneer Michael Heizer began buying up tracts of land near Nevada’s Garden and Coal valleys.
The Frick Collection’s Russell Page–designed garden, planned for destruction as part of the Manhattan museum’s expansion project, is one of 11 land-based art pieces announced as under threat this week by the Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF).
Earlier today @museumnerd tweeted out a link to a view of Michael Heizer’s land work “Double Negative” (1969) in Google Maps. Viewed in satellite, from high above, Heizer’s 1,500-foot-long trenches looks almost incidental, like cuts made with scissors into the skin of the earth.
Back in 2012, a curious landmass journeyed around the coast of England, broken free from the Arctic, where it had long been invisible under a glacier. Nowhereisland, as it was anointed by its discoverer, artist Alex Hartley, became land art on a massive scale.
LONDON — Land art is having a moment in the UK. It was building last year with two shows, in Margate and Birmingham, by perambulatory artist Hamish Fulton. More ‘walking art’ is afoot in Sunderland. April found Nancy Holt on show in Manchester. And in maritime city Southampton, we have not one but two land art exhibitions, one of which will take a three stop tour of the region. The genre has nothing if not geographical spread.
During a particularly arduous training climb on California’s Mt. Baldy, Los Angeles–based creative director and photographer Michael Gabel had an epiphany about the link between an image and the altitude at which it was taken. “I was set on 6,000 vertical feet in six miles and something clicked about tagging photos with the elevation,” he recently explained to Hyperallergic, adding that this solved a key problem: “As a climber and a hiker I love using topographical maps, and naming your photographs is forced and kind of annoying.”
Richard Serra’s “Shift,” an early land work made by the artist in 1972, has finally received the indefinite protection it deserves. The township council for King City, Ontario, voted last week to officially designate the sculpture a site of “cultural heritage value.”
TORONTO — Forget “Spiral Jetty” and “Double Negative.” The most inaccessible work of Land Art is sitting in Toronto’s own backyard. Having traveled to the distant salt lake shore of Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” (1970) in Utah and spent several fruitless hours searching for Heizer’s “Double Negative” (1969) atop the arid Mormon Mesa in Nevada, I can attest to the long distances, sturdy vehicles, and functional GPS systems required to reach these sites. Unlike Richard Serra’s landmark sculpture, “Shift” (1972), however, none of them involve illegal trespassing.
Could the Dia Foundation lose its lease to the most iconic work of land art ever? The Utah Department of Natural Resources recently informed Dia that it had failed to renew its lease on the land that holds Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” (1970) in Rozel Point, Utah.