THE LIGHTNING FIELD, WALTER DE MARIA, 1977

I already introduced Walter De Maria in the last #asianseries post where I was talking about the Chichu Art Museum in Naoshima island, in Japan. However, it’s necessary to give the right space at this great artist and main exponent of the Land Art movement.

At the beginning he was a sculptor as part as the Minimal Art movement, some of his artworks, like Balldrop, are exposed at the Guggenheim Museum of New York.

Between the ’60s and the ’70s he started to approach directly the territory with his monumental Earth sculptures. In 1968 he drew parallel lines with lime in the Mojave desert in California. In 1977, for Documenta Art Fair in Germany, he penetrated into the ground an auction metal for one kilometer.

His most famous artwork is still The Lightning Field (1977). With this monumental installation located in a remote area of the New Mexico desert, De Maria was looking for the complicity of nature to show an extraordinary event.

After having stuck 400 vertical posts of sharp metal into the soil, in an area of 3 square kilometres, he took the advantage of the lightning effect during a storm: it was gathering and multiplying the power of lightning to permit a great show of light.

The artwork is designed to normally disappear after years, of course the easy way to fruite it is with photography and video but there is still the option to assist directly at the event, by going to the place where it’s located.

G.F

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