This exhibition features over 50 large-format photographs by the renowned Italian photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni (1941-2019), who is best known as the premiere documentarian of Land Art in America. After meeting the legendary New York gallery owner Leo Castelli in 1969, Gorgoni was introduced to artists including Michael Heizer, Robert Smithson, Nancy Holt, Walter De Maria, Carl Andre, Joseph Beuys, Richard Serra, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude—a veritable Who’s Who of artists in New York City and Europe.
He first became known for making portraits of these individuals, but it was not long before he was invited by Heizer, Smithson, and De Maria to travel to the American West, where they were making some of the most iconic Earthworks of the twentieth century. Gorgoni was the first photographer to collaborate with these artists, and his images often serve as the definitive photographic record of their groundbreaking projects.
In 2016, the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art acquired Gorgoni’s archive, containing more than 2,000 images documenting the Land Art. The images offer a unique and unparalleled record of how these artists’ iconic Land Art projects were created.
Gianfranco Gorgoni: Land Art Photographs will include Gorgoni’s photographs of works by Christo & Jean-Claude, Nancy Holt, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Ugo Rondinone, Charles Ross, Richard Serra, and Robert Smithson. The photographs will become part of the Carol Franc Buck Altered Landscape Photography Collection at the Nevada Museum of Art.
The Nevada Museum of Art will publish a book to accompany the exhibition. The 200+ page book is edited by Ann M. Wolfe, Senior Curator and Deputy Director at the Nevada Museum of Art, and will include contributions from Italian art historian and critic Germano Celant and William L. Fox, Director of the Museum’s Center for Art + Environment. It will be designed by the award-winning designer Brad Bartlett of Los Angeles, and co-published by Monacelli/Phaidon.
Carol Franc Buck Foundation
Kim Sinatra + Family
Barbara and Tad Danz
Kathryn A. Hall and Laurel Trust Company
Liz and Tom Kaplan
Maureen Mullarkey and Steve Miller
Many of the photographs in this exhibition were purchased with a bequest from Nancy L. Peppin.