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Walter De Maria

May 26–July 30, 2016
Britannia Street, London

Installation video

Installation video

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Joseph Asghar

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Joseph Asghar

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Joseph Asghar

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Joseph Asghar

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Miriam Perez

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Miriam Perez

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Joseph Asghar

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Joseph Asghar

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Mike Bruce

Installation view

Artwork © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Mike Bruce

Works Exhibited

Walter De Maria, TRUTH / BEAUTY, 1993–2016 (detail) Solid stainless steel and granite, 14 sculptures in 7 sets, each sculpture: 7 ½ × 42 ⅛ × 42 ⅛ inches (19 × 107 × 107 cm)© The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Joseph Asghar

Walter De Maria, TRUTH / BEAUTY, 1993–2016 (detail)

Solid stainless steel and granite, 14 sculptures in 7 sets, each sculpture: 7 ½ × 42 ⅛ × 42 ⅛ inches (19 × 107 × 107 cm)
© The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Joseph Asghar

Walter De Maria, TRUTH / BEAUTY, 1993–2016 (detail) Solid stainless steel and granite, 14 sculptures in 7 sets, each sculpture: 7 ½ × 42 ⅛ × 42 ⅛ inches (19 × 107 × 107 cm)© The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Joseph Asghar

Walter De Maria, TRUTH / BEAUTY, 1993–2016 (detail)

Solid stainless steel and granite, 14 sculptures in 7 sets, each sculpture: 7 ½ × 42 ⅛ × 42 ⅛ inches (19 × 107 × 107 cm)
© The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Joseph Asghar

Walter De Maria, One Hundred Activities, 1960–61 Ink, graphite, and colored pencil on paper, 8 pages, each: 9 × 11 ¾ inches (22.9 × 30 cm)© The Estate of Walter De Maria

Walter De Maria, One Hundred Activities, 1960–61

Ink, graphite, and colored pencil on paper, 8 pages, each: 9 × 11 ¾ inches (22.9 × 30 cm)
© The Estate of Walter De Maria

Walter De Maria, Two Lines Three Circles on the Desert, 1969 Mojave Desert, CaliforniaStill photograph from the film© The Estate of Walter De Maria

Walter De Maria, Two Lines Three Circles on the Desert, 1969

Mojave Desert, California
Still photograph from the film
© The Estate of Walter De Maria

Walter De Maria, Hard Core, 1969 (still) 16mm film, color, sound, 28 minutesWritten and directed by Walter De MariaMusic and soundtrack by Walter De Maria© The Estate of Walter De Maria

Walter De Maria, Hard Core, 1969 (still)

16mm film, color, sound, 28 minutes
Written and directed by Walter De Maria
Music and soundtrack by Walter De Maria
© The Estate of Walter De Maria

About

I think to be a true minimalist you should almost nearly be invisible yourself . . . Expressing yourself in too baroque, romantic a way might be . . . imposing a lot more content on the world than is necessary.
—Walter De Maria

Gagosian is pleased to present drawings and sculptures by the late Walter De Maria. Diverse works from the first four decades of his career, including the never-before-seen Truth / Beauty sculptures (1993–2016), will comprise his first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom. The exhibition has been prepared in collaboration with the Estate of Walter De Maria.

While attending the University of California, Berkeley, between 1953 and 1959, De Maria was inspired by Fluxus, as well as by his longstanding interest in drumming and jazz. As early as 1959, he staged several poetic Happenings in the Bay area with the composer and musician La Monte Young, through which they explored the spatiotemporal confrontation between bodies and objects. In 1960, De Maria moved to New York City and began constructing static sculptures—unpainted, handmade wooden boxes, often with words or instructions written in pencil on their exteriors and accompanied by wooden balls. One Hundred Activities for Rich and Poor (1960–61), an eight-page drawing from the Estate of Walter De Maria, further exemplifies his engagement with nodes of Conceptual art, and his desire to give these abstract ideas aesthetic presence. The hundred-unit list is made up of pictograms, tidbits of advice, questions, and keywords; it is a task-oriented puzzle that relies upon the viewer’s instinct. Drawn in primary-colored inks, crayon, and pencil, this early work exhibited here for the first time is a list devoid of practical functionality yet open to innumerable conceptual possibilities.

The Open Polygon series (1973–74) is represented by four stainless-steel shapes set in a row that progress from a pentagon to an octagon. Each shape is defined by a recessed track containing a steel ball. The series was one of De Maria’s earliest employments of the polygonal steel form, which he would variously incorporate into both horizontal and vertical sculptures. The Pure Polygon series (1975–76), consisting of seven pencil drawings that begin with a triangle and follow with the next six shapes in succession, shows two-dimensional geometric forms on the threshold of visibility. Faintly traced lines on 36-inch-square etching paper enforce an intimate experience with the viewer.

Truth / Beauty, a series of fourteen sculptures in seven pairs, was conceived and partly constructed in the early 1990s, with the bases and assembly completed posthumously by the Estate according to De Maria’s wishes. The series expands on his persistent attention to permutations of rods, polygons, and numbers. Each pair consists of two arrangements of four rods upon granite bases: one composition is in a chevron pattern and the other resembles an “X.” Each base has “TRUTH” and “BEAUTY” engraved on opposite sides. The first pair comprises five-sided rods, and the rods increase by two sides with each successive couple, culminating in seventeen-sided rods. These fourteen sculptures are staged against a solid blue wall, the same color used in The Statement Series paintings (1968/2011).

From the Quarterly