Art reminds us we’re alive.
—Walter De Maria
Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of two large-scale sculptures by Walter De Maria, A Computer Which Will Solve Every Problem in the World / 3-12 Polygon (1984) and 13, 14, 15 Meter Rows (1985). Though they attest to the artist’s long-standing interest in mathematical systems, the experience of these vast works is as sensory as it is intellectual, communicating a sense of the infinite and the sublime. They are part of a thirteen-year series of monumental sculptures using a horizontal format, which features groupings of elements ordered according to precise calculations. This series includes The Broken Kilometer (1979), 360°/I-Ching (1981), Apollo’s Ecstasy (1990), and The 2000 Sculpture (1992).
The exhibition comprises two installations that are derived from the same numerological principals and are linked both physically and conceptually. A Computer Which Will Solve Every Problem in the World / 3-12 Polygon—on loan from the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and on view in the United States for the first time—occupies the entire 21st Street gallery. The work consists of seventy-five solid stainless-steel rods, each measuring one meter long and having equal volume and weight. The rods are arranged on the floor in ten rows, with every successive row increasing by a meter in length. The rods become increasingly faceted with each row. Metal halide lights dramatically illuminate the space; the steel rods flicker, suggesting the latent energy contained within them. Created before computers evolved into the ubiquitous objects that they are today, the work ingenuously asks whether such a device could, in fact, solve any potential problem. De Maria’s title, in combination with the subtle variations of the piece, implies that the most profound answers may be found by phenomenological rather than technological means—that is, through our own heightened awareness.
In the 24th Street gallery, 13, 14, 15 Meter Rows builds upon the formula of A Computer Which Will Solve Every Problem in the World, with an additional forty-two rods arranged in three rows. Similarly, its shape and alignment seem to metamorphose as the viewer moves around the sculpture. However, in this case natural light floods the gallery space through the south and west clerestory windows, and the viewer experiences the artwork differently according to the weather and the time of day.
Light and Lightning: Wonder-Reactions at Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field
In this second installment of a two-part essay, John Elderfield resumes his investigation of Walter De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977), focusing this time on how the hope to see lightning there has led to the work’s association with the Romantic conception of the sublime.
A Day in the Life of The Lightning Field
In the first of a two-part feature, John Elderfield recounts his experiences at The Lightning Field (1977), Walter De Maria’s legendary installation in New Mexico. Elderfield considers how this work requires our constantly finding and losing a sense of symmetry and order in shifting perceptions of space, scale, and distance, as the light changes throughout the day.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2021
The Spring 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Gerhard Richter’s Helen (1963) on its cover.
Frieze Sculpture New York: An Interview with Brett Littman
The inaugural presentation of Frieze Sculpture New York at Rockefeller Center opened on April 25, 2019. Before the opening, Brett Littman, the director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum and the curator of this exhibition, told Wyatt Allgeier about his vision for the project and detailed the artworks included.
Walter De Maria: Truck Trilogy
Lars Nittve investigates Truck Trilogy, Walter De Maria’s last work, conceived in 2011 and premiered at Dia:Beacon in 2017.
Walter De Maria: Meaningful Work
Artist Terry Winters, longtime friend of De Maria and member of the installation crew for The Lightning Field, recounts a trip to New Mexico and the surrounding area and attests to the power—the “rhythm and pulse of ancient mystery”—that continues to imbue De Maria’s artworks into the present day.
Extended through March 23, 2019
Walter De Maria
Idea to Action to Object
January 24–March 23, 2019
Grosvenor Hill, London