From the very beginning of our article we have to
state, that land art is not about the decorations of your backyard. It is not
about landscape design either. So what exactly is land art about? We will try
to grasp this movement with the help of some fascinating facts from the past.
Land art, or earth art, had developed in the 1960s and
1970s. Basically, it uses natural environment to create sculptures,
installations, and other art forms from the organic materials such as rocks,
wood, and even water. Land art works are usually site-specific, which means
that they are adjusted and based upon the exact surroundings. This concept of site-specificity was invented
by the land artists and was an innovation for the art world.
Of course, we have to mention the concept of social sculpture introduced by Joseph
Beuys, the theory, which states that each person can create art everywhere, and
our environment is a place to implicate your art into.
The movement was far away from the art market due to
its beliefs and to the complicated structure of its works; you cannot take a
piece of land into a gallery and sell it. Land art was rising at the times of
the flourishing environmental movement and was highly influenced by the
Conceptual art and Minimalism. Yet, it is much more than just aesthetics.
After the first man went in space and the first
pictures of the Earth, the understanding of our very existence and the view on
our planet had changed. We realized that Earth was actually an object that
could be transformed, could be decorated and designed. It was the biggest
canvas you could get. These were the crucial ideas for land art. It was not
only about ecology, it was about human race and the interaction with the environment
we live in. It was about combining the small topics of our lives with the vast
themes of the life of our planet.
At some point, land artists were rebels. They revolted
against the rule of the materialistic galleries and dealers and excluded their
works from the museum discourse. Land artists put their works into the wild,
uncontrolled environment, which not necessarily must be seen by public. This
fact caused a new discussion on whether art should be adjusted for the viewer’s
eye, or it had to be freed of the need to be seen at all.
Truly beautiful ideas framed in the real-life
environment, land art spoke about unity, as well as about certain solitude of a
human in a modern urban world. In the
next article, we will get acquainted with the most important works of this
daring art movement.