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Posted inArt

The Mythic Scale of History and Labor at Spiral Jetty

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.

Posted inArt

Making Gestures: Land Art’s Moment in the UK

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.

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Photography at Great Heights

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.”

Posted inArt

In Search of Richard Serra’s Embattled “Shift”

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.