Rock, Paper, Screenprint: The “Post Historic” Artworks of Michael Heizer
Image rights: © Michael Heizer. Courtesy Gagosian.
Known for sculptures and earthworks of monumental size, Michael Heizer helped induce a radical shift in the way that we think about the placement, scale, and accessibility of artworks. In Double Negative (1969-70), a pair of twin trenches carved into opposing cliff faces in Nevada’s Moapa Valley, the two excavated passages form a single straight line of empty space, creating a perpendicular intersection with the valley. Other projects have included looping furrows, shaped earthen mounds, and architectural works that refer to ancient temples or imperial buildings, sometimes incorporating enormous boulders as counterpoints to rigid geometric forms. “Immense, architecturally sized sculpture creates both the object and the atmosphere,” he has said. “I think if people feel commitment, they feel something has been transcended.” All of Heizer’s work is rooted first in drawing, and elements of his thinking are apparent in his sketches, as well as his abstractions, such as his 1992 screenprint series “Offering.”
American, b. 1944, Berkeley, California, based in New York, New York