September 10, 2016: A story on Michael Heizer appearing in the August issue of the New Yorker describes his recent visits to Manhattan, where he began his career some five decades ago as an artist/sculpter. I read the article with interest over a steak and baked potato at Del Frisco’s in Houston. At the bar, where the lighting is better than the dining tables, but not by much, I held the paper copy up close — a 5-page cutout that arrived in my mailbox today from Dr. Traci Speed, in California — in-between bites of steak slathered in mash potato scooped out from the skin.
What surprised me was that Spiral Jetty was created by Robert Smithson, and not Heizer, with whom I had credited that earth work for so many years. According to Dana Goodyear, the author of the New Yorker article, Smithson’s Spiral Jetty is an essential in the canon of twentieth-century sculpture; an artwork completed in 1970 and that continues to dominate among academic reputation-makers, art historians, et cetera who use the image as shorthand to represent earth works more generally.
As I am here, now, in Houston and on campus, I will go over and take a fresh look at Heizer’s angles (45°, 90°, 180°) sculpture installed at Rice University. Be back in a moment!
February 28, 2014: At Rice University in Houston, I was able to locate the Michael Heizer sculptures, which appear advertised on the Rice U website. When I arrived to the engineering department and asked around for their location, a administrative personnel responded:
“Oh, you mean the sculptures”. With raised arm, she pointed with her forefinger to the court yard. Paparazzi Ethnography readers are aware of my recent visit to the Levitated Mass exhibit in November.
Here, above, is a collective image of the angles (official title: 45°, 90°, 180°) sculpture.
The more I reflected on the rock sculptures in Houston, the more I realized how well they would look if relocated to the Marin Southern Cone. On the way back home from Houston, I created my own version of the appropriate installation of the Heizer Rocks Relocated: