"The invisible is real"

Laura de Gunzburg
Oct 4, 2013 9:52PM

This past Wednesday, many gathered at the Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, New York, to honor the late Walter de Maria. A conceptual yet minimalist artist, de Maria helped give rise to the practice of land art. 

The intimate gathering reflected de Maria as a singular figure, celebrating both the man and his large-scale, outdoor works, which changed the parameters of art theory. His meticulous methodology, intuitive approach and keen spacial senses gave art observation an entirely new meaning. De Maria enhanced our appreciation of the world around us with his complex yet simple installations.

To many, the artist - who throughout his career shunned the limelight - appeared to be peculiar. He steered away from museum showcases, and preferred to collaborate with selection institutions on long-terms exhibits and permanent installments - including Dia. 

De Maria rarely spoke about his work. Focusing often on isolated spaces, de Maria believed in the contrasts between nature and culture, as well as entropy. He believed in having his work stand for itself, and therefore didn't want to suggest interpretation. 

Despite his relative obscurity and few words, de Maria's memorial service on Wednesday proved that he is both greatly valued and recognized, and, above all will be sorely missed. 

Laura de Gunzburg