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Walter De Maria

Walter De Maria, Instrument for La Monte Young, 1966, aluminum, contact microphones, Eurorack MX 602A mixer, 3 1/2 x 36 x 5".

WALTER WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST ARTISTS OF ALL TIME. I knew Walter longer, perhaps, than anyone in the established art world as we have come to know it. He and I were graduate students at UC Berkeley in the late 1950s. I was notorious on campus. Terry Riley has written about the impact I made as a musician there, and Michael Commons, now a behavioral psychologist at Harvard, claims that when I walked across the Berkeley campus, absolutely everyone stopped and stared.

I do not remember exactly how we got together, but Walter no doubt knew me through the noon concerts that I presented in Hertz Hall. Somehow, I went to Walter’s studio apartment, and he had a painting there that was at least three by four feet. The subject matter of the painting was an X, painted in broad black strokes on a white canvas. I was very impressed and surprised to find that there was anybody else on campus

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