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Q: Land Art ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Land Art
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: sushipet-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 09 Dec 2002 11:17 PST
Expires: 08 Jan 2003 11:17 PST
Question ID: 121920
What is the definition of land art and what are some key works and
artists that are associated with the movement?
Subject: Re: Land Art
Answered By: aceresearcher-ga on 09 Dec 2002 14:37 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Greetings, sushipet!

I always look forward to the question that gets me to learn about
something completely new to me. Today, that was your question!
Land Art is also sometimes referred to as "Earth Art", "Landscape
Art", or "Earthworks"; all of these are subtypes of "Environment Art".

From the Blue Springs, MO Public Art Commission's definitions:
"Land Art: A type of art that utilizes earth, rocks, soil, etc. as raw

From greenmuseumWiki's webpage "What is environmental art?":
"Environmental art is an umbrella term that refers to early Land and
Earth Art as well as Art in Nature and Eco-art or Restoration Art as
well as other contemporary works with environmental themes and
functions (solar, data monitoring, etc). It's a general term for this
worldwide movement.
Earth Art, Land Art and Earthworks tend to look at "environment" as
"space" to be dug up or covered or shaped for conceptual/aesthetic
purposes. The art is usually not about ecosystems or nature, or
environmentalism, it's about art and clever ideas. Most of this was
done in the 60's and 70's and helped inspire other artists to work
outdoors."'s feature article on Earth Art, by Andrew Alden:

Perhaps one of the oldest, most well-known examples of Land Art is
Stonehenge. Check out Martin Gray's Sacred Sites feature page on
Stonehenge at:

Another well-known example of Land Art is the Pyramids of Giza in
Egypt, as seen on Sacred Sites:

From Artnet's Grove Dictionary under "Styles and Movements":
"Land art. 
International art form that developed particularly from the late 1960s
and early 1970s. It was part of a revolt against painting and
sculpture and the anti-formalist current of the late 1960s that
included CONCEPTUAL ART and Arte Povera. A number of mainly British
and North American artists turned their attention to working directly
with nature, notably
 Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 
 Walter De Maria, 
 Michael Heizer, 
 Dennis Oppenheim, 
 Robert Smithson and 
 Richard Long. 
They created immense sculptures on the same scale as landscape itself,
or exhibited written and photographic accounts of their excursions.
With few exceptions, their works (also known as earthworks) are almost
inaccessible, situated far from human settlements in deserts or
abandoned areas. Their lifespan was brief: little by little they were
destroyed by the elements and often by erosion, so that for posterity
they exist only in the form of preparatory drawings, photographs or
films. The works themselves were seen by only a small number of people
and sometimes by only the artist."

More Land Artists from the archived website of the Computer Science
Research Center of the Ecole des Mines de Paris:
"Jan Dibbets
 Nancy Holt
 Jean Clareboudt"

More artists listed on Colorado State's page on Land Artists:
"James Turrell...
 Herbert Bayer...
 Carl Andre...
 Beverly Pepper...
 Robert Irwin...
 Mary Miss...
 Mel Chin..."

From InfoPlease's definition for "Earthworks":
art form developed in the late 1960s and early 70s by Robert Smithson,
Robert Morris, and others, in which the artist employs the elements of
nature in situ or rearranges the landscape with earthmoving equipment.
The resulting work, often vast in scale, is subject to all natural
changes, such as temperature variations, light and darkness, wind, and
erosion. The technique was in part an attempt to counter the
perception of art as an acquirable commodity. Smithson's Spiral Jetty
(1970), a huge spiral of rock and salt crystal in the middle of the
Great Salt Lake, Utah, is a characteristic example of the earthwork
form. Because of the rising waters of the lake, the Spiral Jetty is no
longer visible. Other notable earthworks artists include
Michael Heizer, 
Dennis Oppenheim, 
Alice Aycock, 
Nancy Holt, 
Richard Long, 
Walter de Maria Newton, and 
Helen Harrison."

Modern Artists/Creators of Land Art:

Colorado State's page on Land Artists shows numerous examples by many

Hilary Anne Frost-Kumpf's lecture on "Reclamation Art":

Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Biography of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, from the Stanford Presidential
Lectures and Symposia in the Humanities and Arts:

The Art of Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Walter De Maria
The Guggenheim Museum's Biography of Walter De Maria:

Dia Center for the Arts' feature on:

"The Lightning Field"

"The Broken Kilometer"

"The New York Earth Room"

Michael Heizer
Arnet's biography for Michael Heizer:

The Artist's page of resources for Michael Heizer:

The NY Times Arts & Leisure article on "A Sculptor's Colossus of the
Desert" (December 12, 1999):

World House Gallery's page on "Effigy Tumuli":

Dennis Oppenheim
Ro Gallery's biography for Dennis Oppenheim:

and page of works:

Robert Smithson (was married to Nancy Holt)
Biography from the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo,

Official website from the Estate of Robert Smithson:

Artcyclopedia's page of links for Robert Smithson:

Nancy Holt (widow of Robert Smithson)

The University of Wisconsin - River Falls' page on "Dark Star Park"

Additional photo of "Dark Star Park" from Art In Context's website:

ArtsEdNet's page on "Sky Mound":

Proposed finished view of "Sky Mound", from Hilary Anne Frost-Kumpf's
lecture on "Reclamation Art":

Richard Long
The Guggenheim Museum's Biography of Richard Long:

From the artist's own website page of works:

Sculpture of Goodwood's page on "Six Stone Circles":

More Land Art images can be seen in the Photo Gallery of the
California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture:

For more in-depth information, examples, and critiques of various
works, try John Beardsley's "Earthworks and Beyond":
from Abbeville Press ($35.00):
from ($24.50):

If you are interested in experimenting with creating works of your
own, try PlanetBrett's How-To page on creating Land Art: 

Search Strategy

definition of "land art"

"earth art"

Earthworks art

"Walter De Maria"

"Michael Heizer"

"Dennis Oppenheim"

"Robert Smithson"

"Richard Long"

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