Type of modern art that uses natural substances such as rocks and soil as its raw materials. It is often inspired by natural processes. Land artists rejected the commercialization of art, and were also concerned for the environment. Their work reflected a general back-to-the-land reaction against the destruction of the countryside through urbanization and industrialization. Land art flourished in the USA in the 1960s and early 1970s, and soon became popular in other parts of the world; leading Land artists in the USA include Robert Smithson and Christo, and in the UK, Andy Goldsworthy (1956 ) and Richard Long.
The terms earth art and earthworks
are usually restricted to very large works, such as Smithson's Spiral Jetty
, a road of earth and rocks about 450 m/1,480 ft long, running out into the Great Salt Lake, Utah. He also made much smaller works, including heaps of rocks and soil displayed in galleries.
Other methods and examples include work by Nancy Holt who built enormous structures similar to the megalithic monument Stonehenge, that were organized according to the astronomical order of the stars. The work of Christo usually involves wrapping natural or artificial objects (sometimes very large ones such as Parisian bridges and entire islands); some, however, regard his work as too personal to be described as Land art.
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