"The Lightening Field"
Among Dia's top shelf art offerings was a large floor piece by artist Walter De Maria. Sadly, De Maria died this Thursday in Los Angeles. While on a brief trip to California to celebrate his mother's 100th birthday De Maria suffered a stroke. Along with other "Earth Artists" like Robert Smithson, De Maria's work straddled both Minimalism and Conceptual art. He's perhaps best know for "The Lightning Field", first opened in 1977, a large grid of 400 stainless steel poles averaging 20 feet in height that cover an area of 1 kilometer by 1 mile in the desert of New Mexico. Thanks to the Dia Foundation, you can view another famous piece by De Maria, "New York Earth Room" also from 1977, in which the artist filled a loft in Soho with 22 inches of specially treated, inert dirt (so nothing grows in it).
In addition to sculpture, De Maria played in several bands, most famously one that went on to become The Velvet Underground.
Here are a few of my favorite pieces:
"New York Earth Room"
"Triangle", "Circle", "Square" (All 1972)
De Maria in front of "The Broken Kilometer" 1979, another Dia Foundation installation on view at 393 West Broadway, NYC