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Walter De Maria
The Lightning Field
1977
400 polished stainless steel poles each 2" diam. x 247.5" height

Dimesions variable
Dia Art Foundation, Long-term installation, western New Mexico. Photo: John Cliett

Dia Art Foundation, Dia: Chelsea

Excerpt from Dia Art Foundation:

Walter De Maria
The Lightning Field, 1977. Long-term installation, western
New Mexico. Photo: John Cliett

Overview

The Lightning Field (1977), by the American sculptor Walter De Maria, is a work of Land Art situated in a remote area of the high desert of western New Mexico. It is comprised of 400 polished stainless steel poles installed in a grid array measuring one mile by one kilometer. The poles—two inches in diameter and averaging 20 feet and 7½ inches in height—are spaced 220 feet apart and have solid pointed tips that define a horizontal plane. A sculpture to be walked in as well as viewed, The Lightning Field is intended to be experienced over an extended period of time. A full experience of The Lightning Field does not depend upon the occurrence of lightning, and visitors are encouraged to spend as much time as possible in the field, especially during sunset and sunrise. In order to provide this opportunity, Dia offers overnight visits during the months of May through October.

Commissioned and maintained by Dia Art Foundation, The Lightning Field is recognized internationally as one of the late-twentieth century’s most significant works of art and exemplifies Dias commitment to the support of art projects whose nature and scale exceed the limits normally available within the traditional museum or gallery.

Dia also maintains two other of De Maria’s projects, both located in New York City: The Broken Kilometer (1979) and The New York Earth Room (1977).

Continued, Dia Art Foundation


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Related Information:

Campaign Aims to Restore Weather-Abused ‘Lightning Field’
By Carol Vogel, June 7, 2012, The New York Times


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Walter De Maria, American, (1935-2013)
b. October 1, 1935, Albany, CA
d. 2013


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