October 20, 2023
As conceptual art emerged in the 1960s as a dominant movement, more artists turned their attentions toward atypical materials and spaces. Using wood, steel, plants, peat moss, and other organic matter became commonplace in the genre known as land art, which included works made directly on the earth or with natural materials brought into the gallery.
As with most of art history, land art has generally been dominated by men, although a new book published by Delmonico offers a corresponding, if not corrective, narrative. Groundswell: The Women of Land Art is a 256-page volume that encompasses a range of works by renowned artists like Ana Mendieta, Nancy Holt, and Agnes Dean, to name a few.
On the cover is Lita Albuquerque’s “Spine of the Earth,” an ephemeral creation of concentric circles laid in the Mojave Desert in 1980, with projects like Meg Webster’s verdant “Moss Bed, Queen” and Patricia Johanson’s winding “Fair Park Lagoon” inside its pages. Given the fleeting nature and live components of many land-art pieces, the book is both a celebration of the women artists working in the genre and a necessary resource for documenting such groundbreaking and transient additions to the canon.
Groundswell is available on Bookshop.
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