Land Art
An earthwork by the artist Robert Smithson, consisting of a 140 foot diameter partial circle of rock, which rises out of the level ground to a height of around 15 feet. The artificial lake in which the piece once emerged is now dry, and the sculpture is slowly eroding. Smithson was killed in a...
Beverley Pepper made this sculpture in 1974, a sculptural amphitheater, on a lawn outside a major AT&T office park in New Jersey. Though apparently unrelated to the partially below-grade sculpture, this 200 acre AT&T complex at Bedminster also contains the partially underground global...
Art Park was an important development site for emerging earth artists of the 1970's. Located on reclaimed land next to the Niagara River, near Lewiston, New York, the 200-acre state park had a well supported artist-in-residence program that began in 1974. The program was initiated a year after...
A group of three large human and animal forms made by scraping the top layer of desert pavement away, exposing the lighter layer underneath. The largest is an image of a woman, 171 feet long. There is also a snake, and an image of a four legged animal, which is interpreted differently by...
Palo Alto meets the Bay in an interesting collection of terminal sites. An active landfill for the city lies next to the wastewater treatment plant for the region, which discharges into the adjacent slough. When the runway for the local airport was built, the small yacht harbor’s drainage was...
This American landmark, composed of ten vintage Cadillacs buried nose-first in a field outside Amarillo, was originally installed in 1974. It was conceived by a group of artists and architects known as Ant Farm (Chip Ward, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michaels), and it was funded and "seen through" by...
The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland is an active art production site, located at a large, long-shuttered Vermont Marble production plant. Most of the buildings are leased to other companies, but the Carving Studio occupies a few of the more picturesque old ones, and installs...
Michael Heizer has been building this piece since the early 1970's, and construction continues. The "city" consists of a few "complexes", made of earthen mounds, slopes, and concrete. The series of complexes surround a central "court" which, when complete, will be around a mile long. Complex One...
The Desert Research Station is an educational research facilty, operated by the Center for Land Use Interpretation. It is a field station for reserch related to the desert regions of California, and contains displays about the area.
Relying on natural decontamination processes instead of chemical agents, Viet Ngo's "Lemna System" utilizes a variety of floating plants to remove harmful phosphorus, nitrogen and algae in water before it is released into a bay of Devil's Lake. Shaped in the form of a long, windy road or a coiled...
Five small trenches lined in wood, inserted into the playa at the Black Rock Desert. This was number 8 of the artist Michael Heizer's 1968 series "Nine Nevada Depressions." Apparently no remains are visible.
An earthwork created by the artist Michael Heizer in 1969 and 1970. The piece consists of two gouges in the edge of a mesa, in southern Nevada. The 30-foot wide, 50-foot deep cuts, made by dynamite and bulldozers, face each other from either side of a scallop on the eroded edge of the natural...
A groundbreaking exhibit called "Earth Art" was held at the Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art at Cornell University in 1969, curated by Willoughby Sharp. Included in the exhibit were Hans Haacke, Neil Jenney, Richard Long, David Medalla, Robert Morris, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson, and Gunter...
Made by Herbert Bayer in 1955, making it probably the first "earthwork" done within the context of contemporary art, this piece is maintained and visible at the Aspen Institute's Aspen Meadows campus in Aspen, Colorado. Down a nearby path is Anderson Park, which has another piece by Bayer, the "...
The Effigy Tumuli earthwork consists of five geometrically abstracted animal forms, created on old mining land along the Illinois River. Now a state park, the sculpture is in flux, parts eroding, parts overgrown, others nearly bare. It is one of the largest artworks in the country, and the shapes...
El Mirage is probably the closest dry lake to downtown Los Angeles, and is therefore one of the most heavily visited. It is now regularly used for car racing, land sailing, model aircraft, amateur rocketeers, and film productions. It has been used by numerous known and unknown artists as well....
An abandoned eco-land art site. In 1985 the artist Harriet Feigenbaum planted three circles of willow trees around a pond formed from coal dust runoff in this strip mining site. Currently maintained as a wetland wildlife preserve, but the art site is unkept.
One of several unusual sculptures in the Amarillo area commissioned by Stanley Marsh 3 (January 31, 1938 - June 17, 2014), a local visionary eccentric, businessman, and bon-vivant. The intended illusion of the top of the mesa "floating" in the air, is occasionally achieved when the sky behind...
The Grand Rapids Project was made by Robert Morris in 1974 on an eroded hillslope in a city park near downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is known as the first major art earthwork to be supported by government funds, including the National Endowment for the Arts. Construction involved re-contouring...
Flood control site built in 1989-1990 integrated with a wildlife and recreational park with earth art by George Hargreaves Associates.
A number of outdoor pieces were built in this park by Heather McGill and John Roloff between 1986 and 1989, as part of the interpretive efforts for the new nature preserve at Elkhorn Slough, near the Central California Coast. "Isla de Umunnum" is the name of the 5-acre island where the sculptures...
The ninth of the artist Michael Heizer's "Nine Nevada Depressions" made around the state in 1968. This one is a circular loop made in a dry lake bed surface, at Massacre Dry Lake, near Vyo, Nevada. Six tons of earth was displaced, making a one foot wide trench, around 120 feet long, with the loop...
Located in an unused corner of the massive Jamesville Quarry in upstate New York, this piece was never completed, and has been untouched since 1986. The environment surrounding the piece resembles the erosional canyons of the Southwest in form and scale, but was made instead by human hands and...
A large, simple etching on the earth, made with four shallow cuts from the six foot blade of bulldozer, two one mile long, two a half mile long, forming a square with half mile lines extending. Done in 1969 in the Tula Desert, north of Las Vegas by the artist Walter de Maria. The piece is visible...
A piece of land art in the plains of western New Mexico consisting of hundreds of stainless steel poles projecting from the ground. The poles, averaging around 20 feet in height, have been known to attract occasional lightning strikes. The piece was built by the artist Walter De Maria in 1977. Rows...
An exhibition called "Projects in Nature" was held in 1975 on a private estate in rural New Jersey, involving eleven "environmental artists," most of whom constructed some kind of outdoor work on the property. Artists included Carl Andre, Alan Sondheim, John Goodyear, and Clayton Lee. Alice Aycock...
In this park, east of Kent, is a series of earthworks created by the earth artist Herbert Bayer in 1982. The work consists of a group of grass-covered earthen berms, shaped into large, orderly rings and circular mounds, spread over 2.5 acres of a larger 96-acre city park. But the site is also a...
Located at Challenger Seven Memorial Park, south of downtown Houston, this earthwork draws on the tradition of the earth as mother metaphor, but with contemporary, feminist intent. It was built in 1997 by women and children, working with the Houston Women's Caucus for Art.
A deserted quarry that was transformed into a sculpted environment by a Harvy Fite, a stone sculptor who bought the property. He worked on the six acre project almost single-handedly from the late 1930's to his death in 1976. The result is a serpentine network of walls, paths and terraces, made...
Robert Smithson conceived and executed this piece while he was staying at Kent State University for a week as a visiting artist in January, 1970. It was too cold for the 'mud pour' work he had expected to perform, so this substitute was hastily developed by Smithson and some of the students....