new-york

Nancy Holt

Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University

Standing tall in black aluminum at twenty feet, Nancy Holt’s monumental outdoor sculpture Solar Rotary, 1995, comprises a swirling design that casts tribal tattoo–like shadows on a plaza’s grounds at the University of South Florida, Tampa. Beneath the work (which I remember fondly from when I was a teen) and the typically oppressive midday sun is a bench, cradling one of the most interesting objects to be found in the area––a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite, discovered in Miami-Dade County. Holt’s long-standing interest in astronomical themes, so overt in this example, seemed to loom large in an excellent survey of her early output between 1966 and 1980 at Columbia University’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery. Curated by Alena J. Williams, “Sightlines” nicely articulates, if inadvertently, that even during the very first stages of Holt’s career, the artist often blended the cool, dry

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