Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thinking About the Earthworks Art Movement




Dana Goodyear recently profiled Michael Heizer's art career in the "Earthworks Movement" for the New Yorker magazine.  The above photos are from the profile showing views of his work "City" which Heizer began in 1972 and which after over three decades is nearly complete. If all goes well, the general public will be able to view it by 2020.   "City" is a mile and a half long and has been entirely built from materials mined and mixed on site.  The sculpture sits on Heizer's ranch in Garden Valley, Nevada.  The ranch and surrounding land is home to endangered wildlife, Native American trails and petroglyphs.  Also adjacent is an Air Force base and bomb test site (nuclear).  Heizer's father was an archaeologist and a great influence on his son.  "City" evokes ceremonial mounds, ancient cities as well as industrial technology.

What drew me into this article right away, besides the scale of the art work, was the subject of Heizer's association with Robert Smithson.  I am fascinated by Smithson's "Spiral Jetty" and now even more knowing Heizer was an early influence on his work.   "Spiral Jetty" is also built from materials on site and evokes something of the environment of which it was created.  After reading about Annie Leibovitz's visit in her book, PILGRIMAGE, I felt an urge to see it myself.  It's not  easy, but probably easier than trying to see Heizer's work.  Leibovitz took a 40-minute helicopter ride from Salt Lake City to the site.  "Spiral Jetty" is in a hard to reach area of the Great Salt Lake near Corinne, UT.  A considerable drive on a dirt road is involved.  I found a good site for learning more about "Spiral Jetty" here.  And below is the little spiral jetty I created out of materials around our tiny pond.  Yes, I used Photoshop.





Speaking of frogs, they had wondered off to the big pond across the street, but now the little ones are returning for the winter--or so it seems.


Does he have something in his mouth?


I did not forget painting and drawing.  Just have to get the photographing part done.  


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