PRINT May 1985


Earthworks and Beyond

Very few of us have been able to walk the land of Walter De Maria’s Lightning Field, 1977, in New Mexico, or to consider Michael Heizer’s monumental Double Negative, 1969–70, incised into the Nevada desert. John Beardsley’s book now presents a critical evaluation of the evolution of works that incorporate and/or alter the landscape itself. This thoughtful volume is very well illustrated and provides a context for understanding the achievements of a highly diverse range of artistic endeavor. Beardsley’s discussion ranges from the land interventions and reclamation projects of Robert Smithson and the participatory observatories of Robert Morris to the romantic formalism of Heizer and Ant Farm’s elegy to the automotive age, Cadillac Ranch, executed in Amarillo in 1974. His appreciation of poetic pieces by Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, and Nancy Holt adds to the understanding of their work.

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