Carl Andre (born 1935) is an American minimalist artist recognized for his ordered linear format and grid format sculptures. His sculptures range from large public artworks to more intimate tile patterns arranged on the floor of an exhibition space. He is represented by Paula Cooper Gallery in New York, Konrad Fischer Galerie in Düsseldorf and Berlin, and Sadie Coles HQ in London.
Vito Acconci (born 1940) has been a vital presence in contemporary art since the late 1960s; his confrontational and ultimately political works have evolved from writing through conceptual art, bodyworks, performance, film, video, multimedia installation and architectural sculpture. Since the late 1980s he has focused on architecture and design projects.
Germano Celant (born 1940) is internationally acknowledged for his theories on arte povera. He is the author of more than one hundred publications, including both books and catalogues. He has curated hundreds of exhibitions in the most prominent international museums and institutions worldwide. Since 1977, he has been a contributing editor to Artforum and since 1991 he has been a contributing editor to Interview.
Paula Cooper (born 1938) was deemed “the idol of every young female dealer” by one observer. Cooper has lorded over the avant-garde art scene since the 1960s, when she ran a co-op gallery on West Broadway. Her eponymous New York gallery founded in 1968 is primarily known for the minimalist and conceptual artists it has represented and whose careers it helped launch. Such artists include Carl Andre, Jennifer Bartlett, Lynda Benglis, Jonathan Borofsky, Sophie Calle, Mark di Suvero, Walter De Maria and Sol LeWitt, among others.
Walter De Maria (1935 to 2013) was an American artist, sculptor, illustrator and composer. He lived and worked in New York City. De Maria’s artistic practice was connected with minimal art, conceptual art, and land art of the 1960s. He realized land art projects in the deserts of the American southwest, with the aim of creating situations where the landscape and nature, light and weather would become an intense, physical and psychic experience. In his work, De Maria stressed that the work of art is intended to make the viewer think about the earth and its relationship to the universe. Lightning Field (1977) is De Maria’s best-known work. It consists of 400 stainless steel posts arranged in a calculated grid over an area of one mile by one kilometer.
Virginia Dwan (born October 18, 1931) is an American art collector, art patron, philanthropist and visionary founder of the Dwan Light Sanctuary in Montezuma, New Mexico. A former gallerist, owner and executive director of the Dwan Gallery Los Angeles (1959–1967) and Dwan Gallery New York (1965–1971), a contemporary art gallery distinguished for its ground breaking exhibitions 10 and Earth Works, that helped identify the American movements of Minimal Art, Conceptual Art, and Land Art. Among the artists Dwan represented are Carl Andre, Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, Sol LeWitt, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, William Anastasi, Charles Ross and Fred Sandback.
Gianfranco Gorgoni (born 1941) is an Italian-born photographer who in the late 1960s and early 1970s photographed visual artists of the avant-garde. Gorgoni is chiefly recognized for his artful documentation of several important land art sites including Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty and Michael Heizer’s Double Negative, and non-extant works by Walter De Maria. In addition to Smithson, Heizer and De Maria, among the artists Gorgoni has portrayed include Andy Warhol, Richard Serra, Joseph Beuys, Sol LeWitt and Agnes Martin.
Michael Heizer (born 1944) with De Maria and Smithson helped to create a new genre of art which used the earth as its medium. In 1967 Heizer began creating large earthworks. For his first one-person show, at the Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, in 1969, he removed 1,000 tons of earth to create Munich Depression. He followed this with Double Negative, a displacement of over 240,000 tons of earth to make two vast incisions opposite one another on Mormon Mesa in Nevada. His next one-person show was at the Dwan Gallery, New York, in 1970, that same year he exhibited in the International Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Exhibitions of his work have been staged at the Museum Folkwang, Essen (1979), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1984). Heizer lives in Nevada, where he continues to work on City, a land art complex begun in 1972.
Nancy Holt (1938 to 2014) was an American artist most known for her public sculpture, installation art and land art. Throughout her career, Holt also produced works in other media, including film, photography, and writing artist’s books. Her involvement with photography and camera optics are thought to have influenced her later earthworks, which are “literally seeing devices, fixed points for tracking the positions of the sun, earth and stars.” Today Holt is most widely known for her large-scale environmental work, Sun Tunnels (1973-6) in the Great Basin Desert in Utah.
Dennis Oppenheim (1938 to 2011) was an American conceptual artist, performance artist, earth artist, sculptor and photographer. From 1966 to 1968, Oppenheim’s ephemeral earthworks included shapes cut in ice and snow, such as Annual Rings (1968), a series of rings carved in the snow on the United States/Canada border and Gallery Transplant (1969), in which he cut the outline of a gallery in the snow. Oppenheim was included with Michael Heizer, Robert Smithson and Walter De Maria in the important 1968 Earth Works exhibition at the Dwan Gallery in New York and in the 1969 Earth Art exhibition curated by Willoughby Sharp at the Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Charles Ross (born in 1937) is an American sculptor and earthwork artist. In 1965, Ross began creating prism sculptures–minimal geometrical objects as perceptual vessels that alter the perception of the environments that surround them. These he first began exhibiting in one-person exhibitions at the Dwan Gallery in New York. In 1971, Ross began work on an earthwork known as Star Axis, which is a naked eye observatory and architectonic sculpture. Star Axis’s geometry is derived from the shifting relationship of earth to the sun and the north star.
Willoughby Sharp (1936 to 2008) was an internationally known artist, independent curator, independent publisher, gallerist, teacher, author, and telecom activist. Sharp curated the historically significant 1969 Earth Art exhibition at the Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York which was the first museum exhibition devoted to the genre. Earth Art included the work of Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, Walter De Maria, Dennis Oppenheim, and Jan Dibbets among other artists. Sharp also co-founded the progressive art journal Avelanche (in publication from 1970 to 1976).
Robert Smithson (1938 to 1973) was an American artist famous for his use of photography in relation to sculpture and land art, of which he was an important forerunner. His most famous work is Spiral Jetty (1970), a three-part work whose most important component is a 1,500-foot long spiral-shaped jetty extending into the Great Salt Lake in Utah constructed from rocks, earth, and salt. On July 20, 1973, Smithson died in a plane crash, while surveying sites for his work Amarillo Ramp in the vicinity of Amarillo, Texas. Despite his early death, and relatively few surviving major works, Smithson has a following amongst many contemporary artists. In recent years, Tacita Dean, Sam Durant, Renée Green, Lee Ranaldo, Vik Muniz, Mike Nelson, and the Bruce High Quality Foundation have all made homages to Smithson’s works.
Lawrence Weiner (born in 1942) is one of the central figures in the formation of conceptual art in the 1960s. His work often takes the form of typographic texts. Weiner created his first book Statements in 1968, a small paperback with texts describing projects. Statements is considered one of the seminal conceptual artist’s books of the era. He contributed to the famous Xeroxbook published by Seth Siegelaub in 1968. Weiner’s texts describe process, structure, and material, and though Weiner‘s work is almost exclusively language-based, he regards his practice as sculpture, citing the elements described in the texts as his materials. In 1969, he was among the American contingent of artists that participated in the legendary exhibition curated by Swiss curator, Harald Szeemann entitled Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form at the Kunsthalle Bern.