Don Stinson, High Beams and Starlight: Beyond Absence–Double Negative, July 2003 PM, 2004 (detail). Oil on linen; 81 x 89 in. Denver Art Museum: Gift of Laure and Matt McConnell, Noel and Tom Congdon, Jennifer Doran, and Jim Robischon, 2006.5

Earthworks: Land Art in the West

with John N. Low, James Nisbet, Leigh A. Arnold, James Baker

Don Stinson, High Beams and Starlight: Beyond Absence–Double Negative, July 2003 PM, 2004 (detail). Oil on linen; 81 x 89 in. Denver Art Museum: Gift of Laure and Matt McConnell, Noel and Tom Congdon, Jennifer Doran, and Jim Robischon, 2006.5

Speakers & Lecture Information

Ancestral Land Artists–the Hopewell Era Peoples of Native North America

John N. Low , Ph.D, associate professor at the Ohio State University and citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Director of the Newark Earthworks Center

Dr. Low will discuss the use of earth 2000 years ago by the Indigenous peoples of Ohio in what can be speculated were not only ceremonial and celestial observatory sites but also works of art. So, while we celebrate Earthworks: Land Art in the West - we can take a pause and consider the land art that proceeded the art movement of the 1970's and since by recognizing the movement's ancestors.

The Life of Earthworks

James Nisbet, Chair, Art History; Associate Professor, Art History; Associate Professor, Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine

Dr. Nisbet’s talk will look at why the American West was the location for so many earthworks in the 1960s and 1970s, and how do these works continue to exist in different environments? This lecture will discuss the rise of the postwar American Land Art movement and consider some of the ecological issues that continue to affect these works in the present day.

No Man’s Land: Rediscovering the Women of Land Art

Dr. Leigh A. Arnold, Associate Curator, Nasher Sculpture Center

For many years, the dominant narrative of Land art has been focused on men active in the field: Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, and Robert Smithson, among others, who have had a significant impact on our understanding of earthworks and Land art. Through her presentation, Dr. Arnold will shift that focus to draw new light on the vast number of Land works by women artists, whose careers ran parallel to their better-known male counterparts, yet have received scant recognition or representation in museum presentations.

The Vision of Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Colorado Outdoor Art Projects

James Baker

The 2022 re-opening of the DAM galleries for western art, including works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, coincides with the 50th anniversary of the influential 1972 installation of their monumental and temporary outdoor art project, Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado, 1970-72. The talk will focus on the ways in which they conceived and developed this project and planned for the uncompleted project Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, 1992-2017.