Los Angeles

From Los Angeles: The 2000 Sculpture

As a part of our ongoing partnership with Art Practical, today we bring you a feature from writer Matt Stromberg titled From Los Angeles: The 2000 Sculpture. In his piece, Matt examines artist Walter De Maria’s work The 2000 Sculpture, which is on view at the Los Angles County Museum of Art (LACMA) through April 2nd, 2013.

Walter De Maria. The 2000 Sculpture, 1992; two thousand polygonal solid plaster rods, 10m x 50m x 12cm. Collection of Walter A. Bechtler, Siftung, Switzerland. Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo: Museum Associates / LACMA, 2012.

Artist Walter De Maria is perhaps best known for his seminal land art piece The Lightning Field (1977). However, since the early 1960s he has been an important contributor to minimalist, conceptual, and land art movements, steadily making gallery-filling minimalist sculpture alongside his monumental Earthworks. It is into this category of work thatThe 2000 Sculpture (1992) falls. Originally exhibited in Zurich, the sculpture currently occupies Resnick Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). This exhibition marks the first time the work has been seen publicly in the United States and is, surprisingly, only De Maria’s second solo museum exhibition in the States.

It is challenging to satisfactorily describe The 2000 Sculpturewith written words. De Maria has posted the piece’s physical characteristics on the wall, highlighting the challenge of verbally and numerically expressing the experience of viewing and moving around the work. The 2000 Sculpture is composed of two thousand polygonal white plaster rods arranged on their sides on the ground. They are placed in rows forming a herringbone pattern of twenty by one hundred units. There are eight hundred five-sided rods, eight hundred seven-sided rods, and four hundred nine-sided rods arranged in a pattern of five-seven-nine-seven-five and five-seven-nine-seven-five. Each rod is fifty centimeters long and approximately twelve centimeters high and weighs twelve pounds. The overall length of the piece is fifty meters (the total length of all the rods laid end to end would be one kilometer), and the total weight is twelve tons. These are the concrete facts of the piece, and yet they give little impression of the sensation of standing before it.

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