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Walter De Maria

Walter De Maria, TRUTH / BEAUTY, 1993–2016 Solid stainless steel and granite, Fourteen sculptures in seven sets, each sculpture: 7 ½ × 42 ⅛ × 42 ⅛ inches (19 × 107 × 107 cm)© 2016 Estate of Walter De Maria, photo by Joseph Asghar

Walter De Maria, TRUTH / BEAUTY, 1993–2016

Solid stainless steel and granite, Fourteen sculptures in seven sets, each sculpture: 7 ½ × 42 ⅛ × 42 ⅛ inches (19 × 107 × 107 cm)
© 2016 Estate of Walter De Maria, photo by Joseph Asghar

Walter De Maria, Large Rod Series: Circle/Rectangle 11, 1986 Eleven 11-sided stainless steel rods, Each rod: 5 1/16 inches diameter (12.9 cm), 52 inches long (132.1 cm)

Walter De Maria, Large Rod Series: Circle/Rectangle 11, 1986

Eleven 11-sided stainless steel rods, Each rod: 5 1/16 inches diameter (12.9 cm), 52 inches long (132.1 cm)

Walter De Maria, 13 Sided Open Polygon, 1984 Solid stainless steel, 4 × 83 × 83 inches; ball: 3 ¾ inches diameter (10.2 × 210.8 × 210.8 cm; 9.5 cm diameter)Photo by Matteo Piazza

Walter De Maria, 13 Sided Open Polygon, 1984

Solid stainless steel, 4 × 83 × 83 inches; ball: 3 ¾ inches diameter (10.2 × 210.8 × 210.8 cm; 9.5 cm diameter)
Photo by Matteo Piazza

Walter De Maria, 5-7-9 Series, 1992/96 Stainless steel on granite, 27 parts each: 21 ⅝ × 12 × 26 ¾ inches (55 × 30.5 × 68 cm)© Walter De Maria, photo by Matteo Piazza

Walter De Maria, 5-7-9 Series, 1992/96

Stainless steel on granite, 27 parts each: 21 ⅝ × 12 × 26 ¾ inches (55 × 30.5 × 68 cm)
© Walter De Maria, photo by Matteo Piazza

Walter De Maria, 16-Sided Open Polygon, 1984 Solid stainless steel with solid stainless steel ball, 4 × 98 ½ × 98 ½ inches (10.2 × 250.2 × 250.2 cm)© 2017 Estate of Walter De Maria, photo by Robert McKeever

Walter De Maria, 16-Sided Open Polygon, 1984

Solid stainless steel with solid stainless steel ball, 4 × 98 ½ × 98 ½ inches (10.2 × 250.2 × 250.2 cm)
© 2017 Estate of Walter De Maria, photo by Robert McKeever

About

Any good work of art should have at least ten meanings.
—Walter De Maria

In his sculptures, land works, and installations, Walter De Maria (1935–2013) explored the relationship between the relative and the absolute, using basic geometric components to produce sublime repetitions. By arranging forms according to mathematical sequences, he worked at the intersections of Minimalism, conceptual art, and land art—drawing attention to the limits of gallery spaces, prioritizing bodily awareness, and locating the content of an artwork in the viewer.

In 1960, after completing his masters degree at University of California, Berkeley, De Maria moved to New York and began to show his work at a gallery he cofounded with Robert Whitman on Great Jones Street. Influenced by his peers, including Donald Judd and Fluxus member La Monte Young, he produced serialized and numbered sculptural sets of cast and polished steel.

De Maria’s precise polygonal structures impart a sense of the absolute. 14-Sided Open Polygon (1984), a stainless steel tetradecagon containing a steel ball, is emblematic of this distillation. The Pure Polygon Series (1975–76) is a suite of seven pencil drawings of basic geometric outlines in which a single side is added sequentially to change each shape, beginning with a triangle and ending with a heptagon. In 1977 The Lightning Field was installed in a remote area of the desert in western New Mexico. The work comprises four hundred polished stainless steel poles installed in a grid measuring one mile by one kilometer; the poles, meant to attract lightning, measure over twenty feet tall and have solid pointed tips that define a horizontal plane. The visitor both walks within the grid and views it from afar, observing it over an extended period of time and through space. Other major installations include The Broken Kilometer (1979), five hundred identical brass rods arranged in five rows, which, if placed end to end, would measure one kilometer; The New York Earth Room (1977), a white-walled SoHo loft filled with 280,000 pounds of soil; and The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977), a one-kilometer-tall brass rod that stretches toward the sky from Friedrichsplatz Park in Kassel, Germany.

Truth/Beauty, a series of fourteen sculptures in seven pairs created in the early 1990s, was installed at Gagosian on Britannia Street in London in 2016, then at Gagosian in Le Bourget in 2016–17. At Le Bourget, the works were visible from the gallery’s mezzanine passerelle, recalling the 1981–82 installation of De Maria’s 360° I Ching / 64 Sculptures at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, where the rods were arranged within a sunken area of the museum’s lobby floor.

In 2017 the Walter De Maria Estate and the Dia Foundation collaborated to posthumously complete the artist’s final work, Truck Trilogy (2011–17), comprising three 1950s Chevrolet pickup trucks, each stripped of all extraneous elements and fitted with three vertical stainless steel rods in its bed: one circular in section, one square, and one triangular.

Walter De Maria

Photo: bpk Bildagentur/Angelika Platen/Art Resource, New York

From the Quarterly

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Walter De Maria, Truck Trilogy: Black Truck / Triangle, Circle, Square (2011–17) © 2017 Estate of Walter De Maria

In Conversation

Lucy Raven
Deantoni Parks

Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 6:30pm
Dia:Chelsea, New York
www.diaart.org

Artist Lucy Raven and musician Deantoni Parks will discuss the work of Walter De Maria. To attend this event, purchase tickets at www.diaart.org.

Walter De Maria, Truck Trilogy: Black Truck / Triangle, Circle, Square (2011–17) © 2017 Estate of Walter De Maria

Walter De Maria, Truck Trilogy: Red Truck/Square, Triangle, Circle, 2011–17 © 2017 Estate of Walter De Maria

Tour

Sculpture as Road

Saturday, October 14, 2017, 1pm
Dia:Beacon, New York
www.diaart.org

Through a series of embodied experiments in dialogue with works by Walter De Maria and John Chamberlain, this public tour led by Dia guide Jean-Marc Superville Sovak invites viewers to experience works in the collection through dialogue, observation, and physical discovery.

Walter De Maria, Truck Trilogy: Red Truck/Square, Triangle, Circle, 2011–17 © 2017 Estate of Walter De Maria

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

Visit

Nocturne Rive Droite

Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 6–11pm
4 rue de Ponthieu, Paris
www.art-rivedroite.com

Galleries located in the triangle d’or will be open to visitors after hours. A group exhibition including work by John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Edmund de Waal, Carsten Höller, Olivier Mosset, Steven Parrino, Sterling Ruby, Richard Serra, Taryn Simon, and Tatiana Trouvé will be on view at our Paris gallery.

Photo: Zarko Vijatovic

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Museum Exhibitions

Walter De Maria, Truck Trilogy: Red Truck/Square, Triangle, Circle, 2011–17 © 2017 Estate of Walter De Maria

On View

Walter De Maria
Truck Trilogy

Through June 3, 2019
Dia:Beacon, New York
www.diaart.org

Following the completion of his Bel Air Trilogy (2000–11), Walter De Maria began his Truck Trilogy in 2011. The Truck Trilogy sculpture is composed of three 1950s Chevrolet pickup trucks. Each vehicle has been stripped of all extraneous elements, emphasizing aesthetic presence above practical function. Each flatbed has been fitted with three vertical, polished stainless steel, polygonal rods whose respective shapes are circular, square, and triangular. The sequence of rods is different in each truck. Truck Trilogy was completed posthumously in 2017 according to De Maria’s original plans.

Walter De Maria, Truck Trilogy: Red Truck/Square, Triangle, Circle, 2011–17 © 2017 Estate of Walter De Maria

Carsten Höller, Upside-Down Mushroom Room, 2000 © Carsten Höller. Photo by Attilio Maranzano, courtesy Fondazione Prada

On View

Atlas

Opened April 20, 2018
Fondazione Prada, Milan
www.fondazioneprada.org

The group of exhibited artworks, realized between 1960 and 2016, represents a possible mapping of the ideas and visions that have guided the creation of the collection and the collaborations with the artists  that have contributed to the activities of the foundation throughout the years. Work by Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Damien Hirst, Carsten Höller, and Jeff Koons is included.

Carsten Höller, Upside-Down Mushroom Room, 2000 © Carsten Höller. Photo by Attilio Maranzano, courtesy Fondazione Prada

Walter De Maria, Large Rod Series: Circle/Rectangle 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 1986, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Major Accessions) and the Dallas Museum of Art TWO × TWO for AIDS and Art Fund © Estate of Walter De Maria

Closed

Walter De Maria
Surface Waves

May 27, 2017–February 4, 2018
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
www.sfmoma.org

This marks the debut of the artist’s first sculpture to enter the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s collection: an arresting floor piece known as Large Rod Series: Circle/Rectangle, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 (1986). Consisting of massive, precisely honed polygonal rods polished to a shine so lustrous as to appear liquid, the work can be shown in three distinct formal configurations, each of which have been presented during the course of the exhibition. Recordings of De Maria’s Ocean Music (1968) and Cricket Music (1964) play in the galleries daily, offering an immersive sensory experience of rhythm in sculpture and in sound.

Walter De Maria, Large Rod Series: Circle/Rectangle 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 1986, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Major Accessions) and the Dallas Museum of Art TWO × TWO for AIDS and Art Fund © Estate of Walter De Maria

Urs Fischer, Untitled, 2015. Photo by Mats Nordman

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The Transported Man

April 29–October 22, 2017
Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing
broadmuseum.msu.edu

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University is pleased to announce its debut exhibition curated by director Marc-Olivier Wahler. The Transported Man spans the entire museum and features more than fifty renowned and emerging artists whose work relies on the notion of belief. Work by Walter De Maria, Urs Fischer, and Adam McEwen is included.

Urs Fischer, Untitled, 2015. Photo by Mats Nordman

See all Museum Exhibitions for Walter De Maria