Artist Michael Heizer’s ‘City’ will open in the Nevada desert after 50 years

written by Benjamin Sutton

This article was originally published by art newspapereditorial partner of CNN Style.

City, the massive complex of outdoor structures and grounds that artist Michael Heizer began building in the Nevada desert in 1970, will finally begin welcoming public visitors next month. The opening of the site on September 2, more than 50 years after work began on the site, marks the achievement of Heizer’s most ambitious and career-defining project.

city“Quite possibly the largest contemporary work of art on the planet, spanning over a mile and a half and a half in width, evoking the scale of ancient sites such as Native American hills, Mesoamerican capitals and Egyptian devotional complexes. It is located in the remote Basin and Range National Monument in the Central eastern Nevada, within the ancestral lands of Nuwu (south of Payot) and Niue (west of Shoshoney), about 160 miles north of Las Vegas.

For the first year of public access, only a limited number of visitors will be accepted, with advanced registration mandatory.

The City has been described as perhaps the largest work of contemporary art in the world. attributed to him: Ben Blackwell

The creation of “City” was initially funded by Heizer himself, and eventually received the support of several influential collectors, foundations, and merchants by forming the Triple Aught Foundation in 1998, which will operate and maintain the site for years to come. The Foundation—whose board of directors includes Heiser himself, Los Angeles County Museum of Art director and CEO Michael Govan, and Museum of Modern Art director Glenn D. Created a city grant of approximately $30 million in seed funding.

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“Over the years, I have sometimes compared Michael Heiser’s ‘City’ project to some of the most important landmarks and ancient cities,” Jovan says in a statement. “But now I am only comparing it to itself. It is a work of art that recognizes our fundamental motives for building and organizing space, but integrates our modernity, our perception and reasoning into the subjectivity of our human experience of time and space as well as the many histories of the civilizations we have built.”

Hazer's endeavor to build "city" It has a complex history spanning five decades.  The artist, 77, believes it will last for centuries.

Heiser’s quest to build a “city” has a complex history spanning five decades. The artist, 77, believes it will last for centuries. attributed to him: Mary Converse

The road to building a “city” has never been easy, as it involves forming huge mounds of dirt, moving rocks, and building massive concrete structures. This process has sometimes been further complicated by external factors. In 2014 and 2015, amid fears that the basin and range would shrink, which could allow disturbed development near the “Madina” site, a coalition of Museum leaders The late Nevada Senator Harry Reid He fought to protect the region through public petition and legislation submitted to Congress. And in 2017, in the name of the Trump administration he moved To open previously protected lands to extract resources, some of them were concerned The Heiser project would be among the sites at risk.

Perhaps in response to such threats, Heiser envisioned The City as a project that would continue beyond a lifetime of even the most prized and challenging contemporary art.

“My dear friend Richard Serra builds from military grade steel,” said He said In a 2016 New Yorker profile on the project, he extensively discusses the site’s American sculptor’s work. “All these things will melt. Why do I think so? The Incan, Olmec, Aztec – all their artwork was plundered, razed, smashed and their gold smelt. When they came out here for *in* my ‘City’ statue, they would realize that it takes more energy than to destroy it. Deserves “.
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