Home > Article > Ends of the Earth | Museum of Contemporary Art | When You Need a Giant Canvas for Your Work | By Arnie Cooper – WSJ.com

Ends of the Earth | Museum of Contemporary Art | When You Need a Giant Canvas for Your Work | By Arnie Cooper – WSJ.com

The Noguchi Museum, NY. /Soichi Sunami  Isamu Noguchi's proposed 'Memorial to Man,' aka 'Sculpture to Be Viewed From Mars' (1947). The nose alone was to be a mile long.If you’re a detail person, the first thing you’ll notice about Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974,” at the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art, is the missing start date in the show’s title. Senior curator Philipp Kaiser and co-curator Miwon Kwon insist the omission was intentional. Ms. Kwon, a professor of art history at the University of California, Los Angeles, says that “we chose not to put a beginning date into the title of the show, since Land Art emerges through many different strains of art practices and one could locate multiple moments of its ‘beginning.'”

You might also wonder why what the accompanying catalog calls the “first large-scale museum exhibition on Land Art” includes work only through 1974. It’s not as if the genre, in which the landscape is treated as a giant canvas and the resulting artworks are not only linked to it but express it, dissolved in the mid-1970s; the noted British Land artist Andy Goldsworthy was still in college at that time. But the curators wanted to feature projects created before the Hirshhorn Museum‘s exhibit “Probing the Earth: Contemporary Land Projects” established the category in 1978. “This show,” Ms. Kwon says, “is about early experimentation.”

The cutoff date was also an important milestone for the genre. In 1974, New York’s Dia Art Foundation was established to support visionary large-scale projects. Consider Robert Smithson‘s mammoth “Spiral Jetty,” constructed in 1970 from basalt rock and earth at the Great Salt Lake‘s northeastern shore and donated to the Dia by Smithson’s estate in 1999. The 1,500-foot-long coil was covered by water soon after its construction but re-emerged after the millennium, allowing visitors to walk between the spirals.

This brings us to the oft-asked question—repeated in an essay written by Mr. Kaiser and Ms. Kwon for the exhibition catalog—”How can you bring monumental artworks that are continuous with the earth in remote locations such as the deserts of Nevada, Utah, or New Mexico into a gallery space?”

via Ends of the Earth | Museum of Contemporary Art | When You Need a Giant Canvas for Your Work | By Arnie Cooper – WSJ.com.

Strange Random Art Quote:

“I want to meet a guy named Art. I’d take him to a museum, hang him on the wall, criticize him, and leave.” ― Jarod KintzI Want

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