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Land Art

Wednesday, January 20 @ 7:00PM

This program was inspired by two remote desert monuments along the 38th parallel. One is extremely old and the other is still being created.   Göbeklitepe in central Turkey is believed to be the oldest known temple.  The 11,000 year old massive carved stones predate Stonehenge by 6,000 years.

“City”, located in a remote corner of Nevada, is arguably the world’s largest sculpture.  Artist Michael Heizer has been working on it for most of his adult life.  When, or if, it will be available to the public remains a mystery.  Heizer is a key figure in the Land Art movement that emerged in the 1960s.  He is also the son of a prominent archaeologist Robert Heizer, who spent decades studying ancient megaliths.

Author and curator Bill Fox will offer a presentation about the Land Art movement in general and the work of Michael Heizer in particular.  He will explore connections between the ancient and the modern across several continents. William L. (Bill) Fox is founding Director of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada, and has variously been called an art critic, science writer, and cultural geographer.  Learn more his about his work at Books
  • Michael Heizer: The Once and Future Monuments by William L. Fox (2019)
  • Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory by Lucy Lippard (1983)
  • Levitated Mass (2013) dir. Doug Pray
  • Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art (2015) dir. James Crump
(Note: both of the above films are available on Kanopy.  Many libraries and schools offer free subscriptions to this streaming service.)

Selected Land Art Installations

  • Spiral Jetty (1970) Robert Smithson, Great Salt Lake, UT
  • The Lightning Field (1977) Walter De Maria, Catron County, NM
  • Roden Crater (in progress) James Turrell, Painted Desert, AZ
  • Star Axis (scheduled to open in 2023) Charles Ross, Guadalupe County, NM
  • City (in progress) Michael Heizer, Lincoln County, NV

Museums and Collections