PRINT February 1986


SINCE THE LATE ’60S Michael Heizer has pushed Modernism toward the ancient builders of megaliths and carvers of the earth’s surface—simultaneously backward and forward. Drawing and forming with the tools of industrial engineering and building technology, he has blended the tenets of Quetzalcoatl with those of Marcel Duchamp, the history of art with the history of earth. Although he is hardly lacking in ambition, the mammoth size of most of his works has to do less with personal ego than with an intentionality that has made the surface of the earth the subject and the object of an acute sculptural concern with mass, volume, and materials. In his most recently completed work, at Buffalo Rock, just outside Ottawa, Illinois (75 miles southwest of Chicago), Heizer has made five vast earth mounds whose animal configurations seek a direct link with precolonial North and South America. Seeming to

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