A Woman Land Artist

8/16/17

Sun Tunnels - Nancy Holt

What is a land artist? To be honest this is a question I asked myself when I came across an article on it. The movement emerged during the 1960's and 70's in part as a statement in opposition to the idea that gallery's and museums were the only places of artistic activity. At the same time, there was a growing interest in ecology and questions surrounding negative impacts on the environment.

Sun Tunnels - Nancy Holt

Nancy Holt began her artistic exploration as a photographer and video artist after studying biology in college in the 1950's. She later married environmental artist Robert Smithson who became recognized in this area as well. Ms. Holt has a rich body of work and used her photography in part to share her art with a larger population. A lot of her land art speaks to her interest in optics and is thus connected in many ways to photography. In this piece "Hydra's Head" a series of concrete

Hydra's Head - Nancy Holt

cylinders were submerged into the existing landscape becoming part of it vs. sitting upon it. Furthermore, the arrangement of the cylinders mirrors that of the hydra constellation you can observe in the sky. Within the piece, there are multiple levels in which to engage and connect with the earth around us. Holt was interested in the connection between nature and the stars and engaging people with the earth around them. She is quoted as having said "I feel that the need to look at the sky-at the moon and the stars-is very basic, and it is inside all of us. So when I say my work is an exteriorization of my own inner reality, I mean I am giving back to people through art what they already have in them." ("Touching the Sky: Artworks Using Natural Phenomena, Earth, Sky and Connections to Astronomy" Janet Saad-Cook, Charles Ross, Nancy Holt, James Turrell) There are lot's of places to read more. CLICK  
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