Rock and Paper. Revisiting Michael Heizer

1800202Michael Heizer, Tom Slaughter, Ray Charles White, Scott Kilgour, John Giorno, Robert Harms, Daniel Villeneuve, Beatriz Milhazes (Durham, Pa.: Durham Press, 1996). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2006-0386Q

“The son of an anthropologist, Heizer acknowledges numerous ancient sources for some of his forms but sees the comparison as more apt in the realm of effect than of specific reference: ‘It is interesting to build a sculpture that attempts to create an atmosphere of awe. Small works are said to do this but it is not my experience. Immense, architecturally sized sculpture creates both the object and the atmosphere. Awe is a state of mind equivalent to religious experience, I think if people feel commitment they feel something has been transcended.’”

heizer 7Michael Heizer, Negative Megalith 5, 1998. Dia Art Foundation ©Michael Heizer

“The simplified geometric forms of North, East, South, West [below] suggest the underlying Euclidean lexicon of basic three-dimensional forms—box, cone, and wedge—essential for all sculpture, ancient and modern. The architectural scale and construction of Heizer’s work call forth comparisons to the megalithic monuments of ancient cultures—a comparison that is explicitly addressed in his Negative Megalith #5 (1998, above), a natural, menhir-like stone inscribed in a rectangular niche, installed in a neighboring gallery.”–Dia Art Foundation


heizer 5Above and below: Michael Heizer, North, East, South, West, 1967/2002. Dia Art Foundation ©Michael Heizer

heizer 6

See also: Michael Heizer—Dragged mass geometric (New York, N.Y.: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1985). Marquand Library NB237.H44 W48