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Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’ Ocula Conversation Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’

A group of voices accompanies me in the exhibition. They are singing words I cannot comprehend, yet the warm tunes are familiar: folk songs, love songs, songs of longing. There are letters, too. They speak of the quotidian details of a soldier's life: the hardness of the war, sending money to the family, and longing for familiar landscapes, food,...

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Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Walter De Maria

(1935 - 2013), USA

Walter De Maria Biography

Walter De Maria was involved in a range of movements within the art scene of 1960s New York. A pioneer of not only Minimalism and Conceptual art, but also Land art and Installation art, he is perhaps best known as a Land artist, alongside contemporaries such as Michael Heizer and Robert Smithson.

Originally from California, De Maria moved to New York in 1960. At that time, he began incorporating the philosophies of Land art into his practice, writing proposals such as Art Yard (1960), in which he outlined an event where machines would dig a large hole and spectators would watch. However, this artwork lives only in text.

Alongside these initial experiments, De Maria was informed by the Minimalist awareness of the white cube gallery space. With this knowledge he decided to reject traditional art settings, turning to landscapes such as that of the Mojave Desert and New Mexico for exhibition spaces.

The Dia Art Foundation financed the artist's most famous site-specific installations and is the reason they are still viewable today. The best known of these works is The Lightning Field (1977): a grid delineated by 400 stainless steel poles 20 feet and 7.5 inches tall (on average), spaced 220 feet apart within a one-kilometre-by-one-mile area. Lightning rarely strikes, but even without lightning the installation maintains moments of breathtaking beauty, especially when the light of the rising or setting sun reflects off the poles. Though the poles are of varying height depending to the height of the ground they are standing on, their solid pointed tips delineate a consistently level horizontal plane. Within the urban setting of New York, Dia facilitated the artist's The New York Earth Room (1977)—an installation in which De Maria filled the floor of a loft with 22 inches of dirt. The presence of such a large quantity of earth makes the air of the space dense and moist. This gesture was carried out twice prior to New York, the first iteration taking place in Munich in 1968.

Another of De Maria's Dia artworks is The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977)—A solid brass rod two inches in diameter and one kilometre long, inserted one kilometre into the ground of Kassel, Germany, so only the very top of the rod (its cross section) is visible, flush to the surface of the ground. A two-metre-square red sandstone plate, with the circular end of the rod visible at its centre, also rests on the ground. A pair with The Vertical Earth Kilometer, The Broken Kilometer (1979) in New York is an installation of 500 two-metre brass rods, solid and again two inches in diameter, arranged in five rows. The Broken Kilometer divides up the kilometre that The Vertical Earth Kilometer hides in the earth.

De Maria received both his BA and his MA from the University of California, Berkeley. His permanent, long-term, and commissioned sculptural installations can be found in the USA, Germany, France, and Japan.

Biography by Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

14-Sided Open Polygon by Walter De Maria contemporary artwork
Walter De Maria14-Sided Open Polygon, 1984 Solid stainless steel with solid stainless steel ball
10.2 x 226.1 x 226.1 cm
Ball Drop by Walter De Maria contemporary artwork
Walter De MariaBall Drop, 1961–1964 Grey stain, graphite and paint on plywood, with solid wood ball, in two parts

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Walter De Maria, Idea to Action to Object at Gagosian, London
24 January–9 March 2019 Walter De Maria Idea to Action to Object Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London

Represented By

In Related Press

How Walter De Maria turned the Earth into an art work Related Press How Walter De Maria turned the Earth into an art work Dazed : 22 April 2019

As one of the founding fathers of the 1960s land art movement, Walter De Maria is renowned for his monumental installations dealing with matters of time and space on a grand scale. Despite his reputation as one of the greats, Walter De Maria was a notoriously private man. A reserved individual, he steadfastly avoided interviews and gallery...

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Yelp and TripAdvisor Critics Take on Walter De Maria Related Press Yelp and TripAdvisor Critics Take on Walter De Maria Hyperallergic : 4 October 2017

When artist, sculptor, and musician Walter De Maria died in 2013, he left one of his works unfinished. Titled Truck Trilogy, it features three Chevrolet pickup trucks with three erect steel rods standing in their flatbeds. Each of the highly polished rods is slightly different — either circular, square, or triangular. The installation...

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

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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Walter De Maria, Artist on Grand Scale, Dies at 77 Related Press Walter De Maria, Artist on Grand Scale, Dies at 77 The New York Times : 26 July 2013

Walter De Maria, a reclusive American sculptor whose multifaceted achievement and sly Dadaist humor helped give rise to earthworks, Conceptual Art and Minimal art, on an often monumental scale, died on Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 77 and lived in New York.Mr. De Maria went to California two months ago to celebrate his mother's 100th birthday...

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