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Michael Heizer

Altars

May 9–July 2, 2015
West 24th Street, New York

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Photo: Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Michael Heizer, Track Painting, 1967 (left), and U Painting, 1975 (right) Track Painting: Polyvinyl latex on canvas, 53 ¾ × 197 × 1 ½ inches (136.5 × 500.4 × 3.8 cm)U Painting: Polyvinyl latex and aluminum powder on canvas, 96 × 117 × 2 ½ inches (243.8 × 297.2 × 6.4 cm)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Track Painting, 1967 (left), and U Painting, 1975 (right)

Track Painting: Polyvinyl latex on canvas, 53 ¾ × 197 × 1 ½ inches (136.5 × 500.4 × 3.8 cm)
U Painting: Polyvinyl latex and aluminum powder on canvas, 96 × 117 × 2 ½ inches (243.8 × 297.2 × 6.4 cm)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Potato Chip, 2015 18-ton granite rock in steel frame, 172 × 106 ¾ × 92 inches (436.9 × 271.1 × 233.7 cm)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Potato Chip, 2015

18-ton granite rock in steel frame, 172 × 106 ¾ × 92 inches (436.9 × 271.1 × 233.7 cm)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Asteroid, c. 2000 12-ton ore rock in weathered steel frame, 127 ½ × 104 ¼ × 52 inches (323.9 × 264.8 × 132.1 cm)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Asteroid, c. 2000

12-ton ore rock in weathered steel frame, 127 ½ × 104 ¼ × 52 inches (323.9 × 264.8 × 132.1 cm)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 3, 2015 Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 5 feet 2 ½ inches × 30 feet × 31 feet 7 ½ inches (1.59 × 9.14 × 9.64 m)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 3, 2015

Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 5 feet 2 ½ inches × 30 feet × 31 feet 7 ½ inches (1.59 × 9.14 × 9.64 m)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 3, 2015 Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 5 feet 2 ½ inches × 30 feet × 31 feet 7 ½ inches (1.59 × 9.14 × 9.64 m)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 3, 2015

Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 5 feet 2 ½ inches × 30 feet × 31 feet 7 ½ inches (1.59 × 9.14 × 9.64 m)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 1, 2015 Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 11 inches × 44 feet 8 ½ inches × 40 feet (2.41 × 13.63 × 12.19 m)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 1, 2015

Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 11 inches × 44 feet 8 ½ inches × 40 feet (2.41 × 13.63 × 12.19 m)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 1, 2015 Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 11 inches × 44 feet 8 ½ inches × 40 feet (2.41 × 13.63 × 12.19 m)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 1, 2015

Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 11 inches × 44 feet 8 ½ inches × 40 feet (2.41 × 13.63 × 12.19 m)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 1, 2015 (detail) Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 11 inches × 44 feet 8 ½ inches × 40 feet (2.41 × 13.63 × 12.19 m)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 1, 2015 (detail)

Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 11 inches × 44 feet 8 ½ inches × 40 feet (2.41 × 13.63 × 12.19 m)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 1, 2015 (detail) Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 11 inches × 44 feet 8 ½ inches × 40 feet (2.41 × 13.63 × 12.19 m)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 1, 2015 (detail)

Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 11 inches × 44 feet 8 ½ inches × 40 feet (2.41 × 13.63 × 12.19 m)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 2, 2015 Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 3 ½ inches × 40 feet × 43 feet 4 inches (2.27 × 12.19 × 13.21 m)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 2, 2015

Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 3 ½ inches × 40 feet × 43 feet 4 inches (2.27 × 12.19 × 13.21 m)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 2, 2015 Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 3 ½ inches × 40 feet × 43 feet 4 inches (2.27 × 12.19 × 13.21 m)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 2, 2015

Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 3 ½ inches × 40 feet × 43 feet 4 inches (2.27 × 12.19 × 13.21 m)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 2, 2015 Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 3 ½ inches × 40 feet × 43 feet 4 inches (2.27 × 12.19 × 13.21 m)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 2, 2015

Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 3 ½ inches × 40 feet × 43 feet 4 inches (2.27 × 12.19 × 13.21 m)
Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 2, 2015 Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 3 ½ inches × 40 feet × 43 feet 4 inches (2.27 × 12.19 × 13.21 m)Photo: Rob McKeever

Michael Heizer, Altar 2, 2015

Weathering steel coated with polyurethane, 7 feet 3 ½ inches × 40 feet × 43 feet 4 inches (2.27 × 12.19 × 13.21 m)
Photo: Rob McKeever

About

Size is real. Scale is imagined size.
—Michael Heizer

Gagosian New York is pleased to present the work of legendary sculptor Michael Heizer. Heizer’s first exhibition with the gallery comprises rarely or never-before-seen early paintings, the Altar series of new monumental steel sculptures, and negative wall sculptures featuring metamorphic and igneous rocks.

Working largely outside the confines of gallery and museum, Heizer has redefined sculpture in terms of size, mass, gesture, and process. In the late 1960s, he relocated to New York, while continuing to travel and live in the open terrain of the American West, where he has since created awe-inspiring land artworks. Heizer draws on both ancient and contemporary architecture and art, cultivating tons of materials, including dirt, rock, and steel, in his quest to create a “permanent American art.” These influences are present in City, the vast land sculpture in Nevada that he has been building continuously since 1972. North, East, South, West, which he first executed in the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1967 and finally resolved at Dia:Beacon in 2002, comprises four geometric depressions, each sinking twenty feet below the ground. Double Negative (1969–70), a pair of cuts fifty feet deep in facing cliff edges of Mormon Mesa in Nevada, was made by displacing 240,000 tons of sandstone and rhyolite.

The shaped canvases from the 1960s and 1970s demonstrate Heizer’s early exploration of positive and negative forms; such harmonies of presence and absence, matter and space, are essential to his art. In Trapezoid Painting (1966) and Track Painting (1967), he emphasizes the perimeters of raw canvases by painting them black, while the white interiors are perceived as negative spaces. These hard-edged “displacement paintings” parallel the immense geometries he achieves when moving earth. The slate gray contours of U Painting (1975), for example, anticipate the shapes of the depressions and angular mounds later created in City.

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