Walter De Maria

December 8, 2008

Walter De Maria is an American sculptor born in 1935.  His work is very linear and grid-like, playing with scale, spacing, minimalism, materials…  You can find a short biography of him here.  This post shows 4 of his works; The Lightning Field, Earth Room, A Computer Which Will Solve Every Problem in the World / 3 – 12 Polygon, and The Broken Kilometer.  

In the words of De Maria, “Art reminds us we’re alive”

Below is The Lightning Fields project.  This piece consists of 400 polished stainless steel poles installed in a grid measuring one mile by one kilometer. This can be found in a remote area of the high desert of western New Mexico.  One has to pay to visit/stay at the lightning fields as well as make a reservation.  This is a space that is meant to be experienced over a period of time and, if you’re lucky, to be experience during a storm.




This next project is called, Earth Room.  Who doesn’t love the idea of a room filled with dirt?  The images below are of the Earth Room in New York Earth, it was created in 1977 and  is the third Earth Room sculpture executed by the artist, the first being in Munich, Germany in 1968. The second was installed at the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt, Germany in 1974. The first two works no longer exist. 



Below is the piece entitled, “A Computer Which Will Solve Every Problem in the World / 3 – 12 Polygon” followed by “The Broken Kilometer”.  These pieces play with space and spacing.  Creating a message through grids and distances.




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