Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974

Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974

Haus der Kunst

Robert Smithson, A Nonsite (Pine Barrens), 1968. Installation view of “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974″ at Haus der Kunst; Photo: Maximilian Geuter.

October 20, 2012

Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974
11 October 2012–20 January 2013

Haus der Kunst
Prinzregentenstrasse 1
D-80538 Munich

Hours: Monday–Sunday 10–8pm

Thursday 10–10pm

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mail [​at​] hausderkunst.de


Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 is the first major museum exhibition on Land Art. Curated by Philipp Kaiser and Miwon Kwon, the exhibition provides the most comprehensive historical overview of this art movement to date. With nearly 200 works by more than 100 artists from around the globe, it presents this exceptional art practice that emerged in the 1960s with new insight. Land Art artists used the earth as their material and the land as their medium, thus creating works beyond the familiar spatial framework of the art system. The exhibition, however, refutes the “return to nature” cliché and the myth of the “escape from culture”; it demonstrates, rather, how Land Art implicitly and explicitly wrestled with technological, social and political conditions.

Massive structures in remote locations under the open sky, such as Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty(1970), Michael Heizer’s Double Negative (1969–70) and Walter de Maria’s Lightning Field (1977) are canonical examples of Land Art. They dominate our understanding of this movement as a primarily North American phenomenon, which rejected the institutional limits of the art system. Ends of the Earthchallenges this understanding: The numerous international milieus and the geographical coordinates demonstrate that the desire to claim the land, or to work with the earth, was committed to very different goals and impulses. The artists represented in the exhibition come from not only the USA, but also other countries—Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines and Switzerland. The exhibition also demonstrates that Land Art was concerned not just with sculptural works but also media practices: Language, photography, film and television played a central role in the creation and development of Land Art.

Ends of the Earth examines the complex network of collectors, patrons, art dealers and curators who were instrumental in establishing Land Art as an independent artistic genre. Along with the artists, it was these people who grappled with the difficult question of which products of Land Art should be exhibited in galleries and museums, and how this should be done. Land Art did not escape from the art system; rather, it called for a highly sensitive awareness of the conditions of production, presentation and dissemination of art. Ends of the Earth presents three groundbreaking group shows from 1968–69, which helped define Land Art and, simultaneously, challenged the prevailing conventions of art exhibitions. The exhibition concludes in the mid-1970s, shortly before Land art became a fully institutionalized category within the art world.

Ends of the Earth is organized in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

The exhibition catalogue is published by Prestel with essays by Tom Holert, Philipp Kaiser, Miwon Kwon, Julienne Lorz, Jane McFadden, Julian Myers and Emily Eliza Scott; 263 pages, ISBN 978-3-7913-5194-0, in English.

Currently on view at Haus der Kunst 
Histories in Conflict: Haus der Kunst and the Ideological Uses of Art, 1937-1955.
Until January 13 2013

Open End — Goetz Collection at Haus der Kunst
Until April 7 2013

Upcoming at Haus der Kunst
9 November 2012–15 September 2013
Haus der Kunst is pleased to announce that Haegue Yang will be the inaugural artist for DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT – VON DEN FREUNDEN HAUS DER KUNST, an annual art commission conceived especially by the museum for the Middle Hall of the historic building with the support and collaboration of Gesellschaft der Freunde.

ECM — A Cultural Archaeology
23 November 2012–10 February 2013
The label ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) was founded in 1969 by Manfred Eicher in Munich in order to record, produce, and publish avant-garde music. As one of the first musician-managed record labels in Europe, ECM focused on faithfulness to the works rather than on commercial trends and, with its crystal-clear recordings, set new standards regarding detail, transparency, and record production.

For more information on all exhibitions and public programs please click here.

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Haus der Kunst
October 20, 2012

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