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b. 1944, USA

Michael Heizer Biography

Working largely outside the confines of gallery and museum, Michael Heizer has redefined sculpture in terms of size, mass, gesture, and process. A pioneer of Land Art, he is renowned for awe-inspiring sculptures and earthworks made with earth-moving equipment, which he began creating in the American West in 1967. Double Negative (1969–70), a pair of massive cuts in facing cliff edges of an obscure mesa near Overton, Nevada, was made by displacing 240,000 tons of rock. On permanent view at Dia:Beacon, North, East, South, West (1967/2002) consists of four geometric depressions, each sinking twenty feet below the gallery floor. City, a vast ongoing site in Central Eastern Nevada that Heizer has been working on since 1972, comprises giant earthworks inspired by ancient architectural ruins. Levitated Mass, a permanent, site-specific commission for LACMA, was unveiled in the summer of 2012.

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Michael Heizer was born in Berkeley, California in 1944, and lives and works in Garden Valley, Nevada. His work has been collected and exhibited by Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Dia:Beacon, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Fondazione Prada, Milan, and many other institutions worldwide. Solo museum exhibitions include Detroit Institute of Arts (1971); Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany (1979, traveled to Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, The Netherlands); St. Louis Art Museum (1980); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1984); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1985); and Fondazione Prada, Milan (1996). Permanent, site-specific sculptures include Adjacent, Against, Upon (1976, Myrtle Edwards Park, Seattle); Levitated Mass (1982, 590 Madison Avenue, New York); 45°, 90°, 180° (1984, Rice University, Houston); North, East, South, West (1967/2002, Dia:Beacon, New York); Levitated Mass (2012, Los Angeles County Museum of Art); and four major sculptures at the Menil Collection, Houston. Double Negative (1969), a site-specific land work, remains on permanent public view in the Mormon Mesa near Overton, Nevada.

Heizer currently lives and works in Hiko, Nevada.

Michael Heizer Featured Artworks

Scoria Negative Wall Sculpture by Michael Heizer contemporary artwork
Michael HeizerScoria Negative Wall Sculpture, 2016Volcanic Scoria and weathering steel
321.3 x 181 x 83.8 cm
Gagosian Contact Gallery
Cilia by Michael Heizer contemporary artwork
Michael HeizerCilia, 1968–1990 Gagosian Contact Gallery
Potato Chip by Michael Heizer contemporary artwork
Michael HeizerPotato Chip, 201518-ton granite rock in stell frame
436.9 x 271.1 x 233.7 cm
Gagosian Contact Gallery

Michael Heizer Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, An Exhibition For Notre-Dame at Gagosian, Paris
Closed
11 June–27 July 2019 Group Exhibition An Exhibition For Notre-Dame GagosianParis
Contemporary art exhibition, Michael Heizer, Michael Heizer at Gagosian, Le Bourget
Closed
16 October 2018–6 July 2019 Michael Heizer GagosianLe Bourget

Michael Heizer Represented By

Gagosian contemporary art gallery in 980 Madison Avenue, New York, USA Gagosian New York, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, London, Paris, Le Bourget, Geneva, Basel, Rome, Athens, Hong Kong

Michael Heizer In Ocula Magazine

How to Make a Sculpture Park that Doesn’t Suck Ocula Report How to Make a Sculpture Park that Doesn’t Suck By Georges Armaos, London

After researching 75 top sculpture parks and highlighting a 'magnificent seven' parks around the world, Gagosian's Georges Armaos has a formula for creating art sites that succeed publicly, critically, and financially. It's not easy.

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Michael Heizer In Related Press

A Documentary Mines the Stories of Three Pioneers of Land Art Related Press A Documentary Mines the Stories of Three Pioneers of Land Art 28 September 2015, Hyperallergic

They displaced thousands of pounds of earth, broke down mountains, rejected art galleries and dealers, and carefully constructed mythologies around their art and lives. The land artists of the late 1960s and early '70s have long been romanticized as cowboys who used their bare hands and raw physical force to create monumental art in extreme...

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Obama Declares Tract of Nevada Desert, and Michael Heizer’s 'City' a National Monument Related Press Obama Declares Tract of Nevada Desert, and Michael Heizer’s 'City' a National Monument 18 July 2015, Hyperallergic

In March, the art world rallied to call for the protection of Nevada’s Basin and Range area, a landscape of rich archaeological resources and the site of Michael Heizer’s sprawling land art piece, City (1972–present). The region has faced numerous environmental threats, including a plan to develop a nuclear waste rail line, but...

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