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View of “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974,” 2012, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Foreground: Alice Aycock, Clay #2, 1971/2012. Photo: Brian Forrest.

“Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974”

View of “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974,” 2012, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Foreground: Alice Aycock, Clay #2, 1971/2012. Photo: Brian Forrest.

GIVEN THE SEISMIC SHIFTS that rocked Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art over the summer, wandering through “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974” felt a bit uncanny. The exhibition showcases intellectually voracious curating at its best; here the titular ends functions as a triple entendre, signifying at once artistic means of making, remoteness, and obliteration, with the show’s ambitious international scope enabling a comprehensive exploration of all three. Whatever one might make of the sometimes unsettling parallels between recent upheavals at the hosting institution and the show’s often apocalyptic overtones, “Ends of the Earth” is unquestionably an impressive effort to rewrite the story of the sprawling set of practices often called “Earth art.” Organized by former LA moca curator Philipp Kaiser and art historian Miwon Kwon, it emphasizes previously occluded themes,

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