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Between Landscape Architecture and Land Art Udo Weilacher

Between Landscape Architecture and Land Art

Udo Weilacher

Published
ISBN : 9780817653163
Hardcover
247 pages
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 About the Book 

If youre looking for a how-to on installing a Japanese rock garden or 10 simple steps for recreating the gardens of Versailles in your own backyard, Between Landscape Architecture and Land Art is probably not for you. But if youre interested in theMoreIf youre looking for a how-to on installing a Japanese rock garden or 10 simple steps for recreating the gardens of Versailles in your own backyard, Between Landscape Architecture and Land Art is probably not for you. But if youre interested in the work of some of the worlds most renowned and inventive land artists--professionals who create art for, and out of, public and private exteriors--youll be delighted with this collection of essays on and interviews with 11 landscape artists and architects. Their work, which forcefully subverts the line between what we think of as conventional landscape design and outdoor installation art, is abundantly represented here in sketches and photographs. Most, unfortunately, are in black and white, though there are some fine color spreads that suggest how vibrantly jarring some of these works must be when beheld against their natural canvases of sun, earth, sky, and water.Among the artists whose projects are featured are Hannsjörg Voth, whose massive installations in the middle of the desert (or, more spectacularly, aboard huge barges set afloat on the rivers of Europe) include the dazzling Himmelstreppe (Sky Stairway), a towering, seemingly archaic, deep-red clay, pyramidal wedge erected in the Moroccan desert between 1980 and 1987- Dani Karavan, whose three-kilometer Axe Majeur in the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise has been under construction since 1980 and comprises 12 stations along its axis--each marked by bold, simple structures like a vast expanse of white steps leading to a park anchored by a geometric grouping of colossal, white columns- and Martha Schwartz, whose 1979 Bagel Garden--in which the artist transformed the small front garden of her Boston terrace house into a very witty (and handsome) installation featuring eight dozen evenly spaced, weatherproof bagels--met with outrage on the part of other members of the profession and sparked off a controversial public debate. (Or so author Weilacher informs us with his characteristic, and charming, sense of melodrama.)Others whose work and insights are included here include Ian Hamilton Finlay, Bernard Lassus, Peter Latz, Dieter Kienast, Sven-Ingvar Andersson, Herman Prigann, Hans Dieter Schall, and Adriaan Geuze. (If the names suggest the majority of land-art types hail from Europe, that seems to be the case- the government actually pays for this kind of outsize civic-minded creativity over there, you know.)The book concludes with an overview essay, followed by a long and excellent review of the work of Isamu Noguchi, who pioneered this sort of thing. Again, Weilachers ambitious and occasionally hypersemiotic tome is no professional field guide, but it is packed with elegant, eye-popping, and boldly irreverent work that should fill both the professional or amateur landscape designers head with all sorts of new ways of thinking about outdoor space. --Timothy Murphy