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  • Charged with the rush of time: Michael Heizer at Gagosian

    When a thing is seen through the consciousness of temporality, it is changed into something that is nothing. This all-engulfing sense provides the mental ground for the object, so that it ceases being a mere object and becomes art. The object gets to be less and less but exists as something clearer. Every object, if it is art, is charged with the rush of time even though it is static, but all this depends on the viewer.  Robert Smithson, 1968, from “A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects.”

    Michael Heizer’s current exhibit “Altars” at Gagosian New York includes “negative wall sculptures featuring metamorphic and igneous rocks.”  Heizer, son of renowned California archaeologist Robert Heizer, is best known for his massive landscape modifications - “land artworks.” Along with Robert Smithson and a few others he transformed how we modernists encounter landscape. These interventions often were/are of huge scale and scope.  Or, as Heizer reminds us: Size is real. Scale is imagined size.

    Spectacularly sized and imagined, Heizer’s Levitated Mass moved across California in 2012 to be permanently installed at Los Angeles County Museum of Art: See rockartoregon post January 31, 2014:  Freeing The Rocks: Four Potentials

    Michael Heizer.  Potato Chip, 2015.  18-ton granite rock in stell (sic) frame. 172×106 ¾’×92 inches.  Photo by Rob McKeever courtesy the Gagosian website

  • Freeing The Rocks: Four Potentials

    This last day of this wintry month - let’s elevate the season, beyond reason. Top down.

    Rock on Top of Another Rock, a large-scale sculpture by the artist duo Fischli/Weiss, is an installation in London’s Kensington Gardens, courtesy Serpentine Gallery and The Royal Parks.  Hurry – it’s in place until March 6, 2014. (Then what?)

    Levitated Mass by Michael Heizer is called “ongoing” by LACMA. Really. A 456-foot-long concrete slot bearing a 340-ton granite megalith, it resides on the museum’s “campus” with “no admission ticket required.”  The cap boulder, famously trucked through four California counties in early 2012, was blasted out at the Stone Valley Quarry near Riverside (or, if you are inclined to the poetic, between Palm Springs and San Diego).  You may recall Michael is the son of renowned UC archaeologist and rock art fellow Robert Heizer.

    The Kempe Stone, ten feet in height, is an Irish megalithic portal tomb about 10 miles east of Belfast. In 1884 The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland estimated the capstone at 17 tons. Go take a look or simply Google or Bing – it's storied.

    Oregon’s own meta-lithic, a shelter near an old lakebed in the southern Warner Valley, Lake County, holds faded red pictographs. Massive capstone about six feet above ground level. (Photo: Douglas Beauchamp)