Nevada Museum of Art

Art + Environment Season
Land Art: Past, Present, Futures

September – November 2021
Wind Speed: 4 MPH
Reno, NV
Edgar Arceneaux
Leigh Arnold
Suzaan Boettger
Raven Chacon
Judy Chicago
Emily Eliza Scott
Justin Favela
William L. Fox
Cannupa Hanska Luger
Brooke Hodge
Patricia Johanson
Philipp Kaiser
Kelly Kivland
Miwon Kwon
Lucy R. Lippard
Lisa Le Feuvre
Mary Miss
Julian Myers-Szupinska
JoAnne Northrup
Emmanuel Ortega
Emily Eliza Scott
Cameron Shaw
Rose B. Simpson
Cauleen Smith
Rupert Steele
Oscar Tuazon
Ann M. Wolfe
Andrea Zittel

Commemorating 50 years of Land Art, the Nevada Museum of Art convenes its triennial 2021 Art + Environment Season Land Art: Past, Present, Futures. The three-month season of virtual programs brings together prominent artists, art historians, and critics who have shaped the pioneering genre, alongside contemporary artists, scholars, and social activists who are exploring “what’s next?” as they push the boundaries of the field.

While much of the global art world remains enchanted by the monumental Earthworks that emerged in the American West in the late 60s and 70s, there is concurrent interest among contemporary artists, scholars, and social activists who critique, contextualize, perform, and engage in environmental and social dialogue about art of the land.

Between Walter De Maria and Michael Heizer, Nevada is home to at least fifteen significant Land Art interventions created since 1968. It is this Land Art tradition upon which the Nevada Museum of Art established its Center for Art + Environment—a research center, archive, and library—in 2008. This tradition led to the Museum’s partnership with Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone and Art Production Fund to coproduce and present Seven Magic Mountains in 2016. Located just outside Las Vegas, Seven Magic Mountains has become one of the twenty-first century’s most significant public art projects. Over the past decade, the Museum has engaged in several other significant Land Art projects with contemporary artists including Lita Albuquerque, Judy Chicago, Chris Drury, Helen and Newton Harrison, Daniel McCormick & Mary O’Brien, and Trevor Paglen.

Join the Art + Environment community as the Conference shifts to a new, virtual format and probes topics ranging from iconic Earthworks to new dialogues surrounding contested lands, sustainable living, and ancestral futures.


Lead Sponsor
Henry Luce Foundation

Major Sponsors
Carol Franc Buck Foundation
Charles and Margaret Burback Foundation
The Cashman Family
The Jacquie Foundation
Kim Sinatra + Family
Six Talents Foundation
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Waste Management

Barbara and Tad Danz
The Board of Trustees of the Nevada Museum of Art in tribute to David Walker
Kathryn A. Hall and Laurel Trust Company
Maureen Mullarkey and Steve Miller
Linda and Alvaro Pascotto
Meg and Earl Tarble
Karyn and Lance Tendler
Supporting Sponsors
Kathie Bartlett
Peter E. Pool

Additional Support
Elaine Cardinale
Heidi Allyn Loeb

Promotional Partner


Gianfranco Gorgoni: Land Art Photographs

Featuring over 50 large-format photographs by renowned photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni (1941–2019), this exhibition includes iconic images of many first-generation Earthworks in the American West. After meeting the legendary New York gallery owner Leo Castelli in 1969, Gorgoni was invited to travel to the desert where he photographed Earthworks by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, and fifty years later, Ugo Rondinone. Gorgoni was the first photographer to collaborate on the ground with many of these artists, and his images often serve as the definitive photographic record of their groundbreaking projects.

A 200+ page book published by Monacelli/Phaidon, with texts by Ann M. Wolfe, William L. Fox, and Germano Celant will accompany the exhibition.

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Land Art: Expanding the Atlas

Drawn primarily from the Nevada Museum of Art’s permanent art and archive collections, this exhibition combines work by prominent and lesser-known artists whose works interrogate the definition of Land Art and question the established canon. While much of the world remains enchanted by the monumental land-based desert works that emerged in the American West in the late 1960s and 70s, there is equal interest among practitioners seeking to create, critique, contextualize, perform, and engage in environmental and social dialogue about art of the land. Artists featured include Vito Acconci, Lita Albuquerque, Edgar Arceneaux, Ulrike Arnold, Milton Becerra, Marilyn Bridges, Stig Broegger, Jackie Brookner, Beverly Buchanan, Cai Guo-Qiang, Judy Chicago, Agnes Denes, Elmgren & Dragset, Chris Drury, Justin Favela, Regina Jose Galindo, Andy Goldsworthy, Helen Mayer and Newton Harrison, Nancy Holt, Maya Lin, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Daniel McCormick and Mary O’Brien, Ana Mendieta, Mary Miss, the Optics Division of Metabolic Studio, Trevor Paglen, Shonda Perry, Postcommodity, Marcos Ramirez ERRE and David Taylor, Mario Reis, Reko Rennie, Ugo Rondinone, Federico Silva, Cauleen Smith, Michelle Stuart, Oscar Tuazon, and Raheleh Zomorrodinia.

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Judy Chicago: Dry Ice, Smoke, And Fireworks Archive

One of the most noteworthy responses to the monumental Land Art interventions came at the same time as their production. Beginning in 1968, the artist Judy Chicago embarked on a series of ephemeral Atmospheres performances using colored smokes and fireworks in the deserts of the American West that were intended to “soften that macho Land Art scene,” as she puts it. Long overlooked by art historians and scholars, Chicago’s Atmospheres series provides a critical counterpoint and essential context to the predominantly male Land Artists working in the desert during the 1960s and 70s. This exhibition features selections from Chicago’s Fireworks archive that was recently acquired by the Nevada Museum of Art in 2018.

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Rose B. Simpson: The Four

Rose B. Simpson presents new work related to her ongoing focus on complex issues of past, present and future aspects of Native America, including issues surrounding identity and cultural survival. Born, raised, and living on the Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico, Simpson is a rising star in the international contemporary art world. Her wide-ranging work includes ceramic sculpture, metals, fashion, performance, music, installation, writing, and custom cars. Simpson earned her MFA in Ceramics from Rhode Island School of Design in 2011, and her MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2018. Her work is collected in museums across the continent and has been included in exhibitions internationally.

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Disturbances in The Field: Art in The High Desert from Andrea Zittel’s A-Z West to High Desert Test Sites

Founded by Andrea Zittel in 2002, High Desert Test Sites (HDTS) is a nonprofit arts organization based in Joshua Tree, California. Located on 100 acres owned by Zittel, HDTS is dedicated to “learning from what we are not” and the belief that learning from the high desert community can offer new insight and perspectives, often challenging art to take on new areas of relevancy. HDTS is known for its roving biennial events featuring artworks installed in diverse desert locations, and its programs that include performances, workshops, film screenings, publications, residencies, excursions, as well as two well-known community-based programs known as Kip’s Desert Book Club and High Desert Test Kitchen. This exhibition features highlights from the HDTS archives, recently acquired by the Nevada Museum of Art. It is guest curated by Brooke Hodge.

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Going Global: Historicizing Land Art
Philipp Kaiser and Miwon Kwon
Thursday, September 23 • 10 AM PST

Philipp Kaiser, Ph.D., and Miwon Kwon, Ph.D., co-authors and co-curators of the 2012 book and exhibition Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974, reflect on how they historicized the Land Art genre. A special emphasis will be given to the field’s global roots, and the influence of European thinkers and artists including Italian photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni (1946-2019) and Italian art historian Germano Celant (1940-2020).

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Earthworks for the Present
Lisa Le Feuvre and Kelly Kivland
Thursday, September 30 • 4 PM PST

Why does Land Art matter today? Lisa Le Feuvre, Executive Director of the Holt/Smithson Foundation, thinks through how the histories and futures of Earthworks help us to consider our changing place on the planet. With particular attention on the work of Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson, she will propose how the creative legacies of these two artists can draw on memory and inspiration to underline and complicate artistic engagement with the landscape in our present moment. Kelly Kivland, Chief Curator & Director of Exhibitions, Wexner Center for the Arts, will describe current efforts that prioritize engagement, build long-term relationships with local communities, and acknowledge past erasure of the environment and social histories specific to these sites.

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Earthworks and the Erasure of History
Cauleen Smith and Cameron Shaw
Friday, October 1 • 11 AM PST

Cauleen Smith’s film Remote Viewing was made in 2011 in direct response to Robert Smithson’s Partially Buried Woodshed (1970). Smithson's installation was made on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio, just four months before the Kent State massacre. In the early 2000s, Smith’s research turned to Land Art, in particular the disconnect she sensed between the history and politics of the sites of major Earthworks. Smith is joined by Cameron Shaw, Executive Director of the California African American Museum, who will facilitate a dialogue about how the field of Land Art is ripe for disruption.

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New Monuments for a Future Generation
Justin Favela and Emmanuel Ortega
Friday, October 8 • 11 AM PST

Justin Favela joins colonial art scholar Emmanuel Ortega, Ph.D., to discuss contemporary monuments and how Favela’s creative practice disrupts the conventional boundaries of the Land Art canon through subversive tactics and in his Latinx culture. Favela is the artist behind projects including Family Fiesta Double Negative and Seven Magic Tires, both located in Las Vegas and made in response to Michael Heizer’s Double Negative and Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains. Both Favela and Ortega aim to deconstruct the silences of history that suppress their own narratives.

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City Full of Holes: Edgar Arceneaux's Detroit Projects
Edgar Arceneaux and Julian Myers-Szupinska
Thursday, October 14 • 4 PM PST

Edgar Arceneaux and Julian Myers-Szupinska, Ph.D., collaborated for nearly a decade on a series of projects related to Land Art, Detroit, techno music, and the politics of space. Arceneaux’s interest focused on unresolved problems resulting from Michael Heizer’s Dragged Mass (1971) at the Detroit Art Institute in the years following the Detroit riot of 1967. Los Angeles-based Arceneaux will discuss this multi-year investigation with Myers-Szupinska, a Los Angeles-based art historian and editor whose focus is on contemporary art, exhibitions, and the politics of space.

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Softening the Land Art Scene: Judy Chicago’s Atmospheres
Judy Chicago and William L. Fox
Debra and Dennis Scholl Distinguished Speaker Series
Thursday, October 21 • 4 PM PST

In-Person and Virtual Discussion. Details to follow

Judy Chicago’s response to the monumental Earthworks of the American West was nearly simultaneous with their production. Beginning in 1968, Chicago embarked on a series of ephemeral Atmospheres performances using colored smokes and fireworks in the desert that were intended to “soften that macho Land Art scene.” Long overlooked by art historians and scholars, Chicago’s Atmospheres offer a critical counterpoint and essential context to the predominantly male Land Artists working in the desert during the 1960s and 70s. Chicago will be in conversation with William L. Fox, Peter E. Pool Director, Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art.

Watch recording
No Man’s Land: Women of Land Art
Mary Miss and Patricia Johanson
Moderated by Leigh Arnold
Friday, October 22 • 11 AM PST

In advance of the 2023 exhibition, No Man’s Land: Women of Land Art, curator Leigh Arnold, Ph.D., of the Nasher Sculpture Center leads a conversation with artists Mary Miss and Patricia Johanson. Both artists have been committed to addressing complex issues of environmental and social sustainability in the public realm since the early 1970s. No Man’s Land aims to bring greater visibility to women Land Artists whose works often resist commodification and recognition within the conventional commercial gallery system.

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The Water School at Cedar Spring
Oscar Tuazon and Rupert Steele
Thursday, October 28 • 4 PM PST

Reimagining the future of shared water resources begins with understanding sustainable water management strategies rooted in Indigenous knowledge. Oscar Tuazon founded the Los Angeles Water School in 2018 as a functional public artwork and experimental school. Housed in a structure inspired by Steve and Holly Baer’s Zome House (1969-72), the Water School is a site for dialogue and engagement with complex water issues. Tuazon is now collaborating with Rupert Steele, Chairman of the Confederate Tribes of the Goshute Reservation, to establish a public Water School near Cedar Spring, Nevada. The underground springs are threatened by a proposed $15 billion pipeline to divert water to Las Vegas and beyond.

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Performing Land: Towards an Indigenous Future
Cannupa Hanska Luger and Raven Chacon
Friday, October 29 • 11 AM PST

Cannupa Hanska Luger and Raven Chacon work outside of conventional genres to envision a future where societies live in true reverence and acknowledgement of the land. In 2015, as part of the Postcommodity collective, Chacon helped realize Repellent Fence, a large-scale ephemeral installation along the US-Mexico border. The following year at Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Luger organized Mirror Shield Project, a performative action to support the efforts of the water protectors, and Chacon began work on an experimental sonic score in response to the place and the people he encountered there. In 2020 Luger directed and Chacon composed the music for Sweet Land, an opera that reimagined narratives surrounding the colonial founding of America and westward expansion.

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Andrea Zittel x High Desert Test Sites: An Exit Interview
Brooke Hodge and Andrea Zittel

In this exclusive online publication, Brooke Hodge, guest curator of the Museum's exhibition debuting the High Desert Test Sites (HDTS) archive, interviews Andrea Zittel as she prepares to hand HDTS over to new leadership. Hodge and Zittel will reflect on the founders' original vision, its evolution over the course of twenty years, and the impact it has had on the creative community in the desert and beyond.

This interview will be published exclusively on the Art + Environment Season website and will be released publicly at the conclusion of the Season.
Land Art’s Evolving Relationship to Environmentalism
Emily Eliza Scott and Suzaan Boettger
Friday, November 12 • 11 AM PST

In recent decades, the idea of "land" has transformed from being a place for expansion and exploration to locales of multiple vulnerabilities. In turn, many land artists have shifted focus from spatial and formal issues to social and environmentalist concerns. Join longtime scholars of land, environmental, and environmentalist art, Suzaan Boettger and Emily Eliza Scott, who will converse about how scholarly and critical discourse have reflected and responded to this evolution in artists' practices working with and on land.

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Rose B. Simpson
Saturday, November 13 • 2 PM PST

Mixed-media artist Rose B. Simpson presents a Transformance – a new work presented as part of the 2021 Art + Environment Season. Simpson’s work engages ceramic sculpture, metals, fashion, performance, music, installation, writing, and custom cars. The Nevada Museum of Art has invited Simpson to be in residency at Nuwu Art + Activism Studios in Las Vegas, NV with support from artist Fawn Douglas. Simpson will collaborate with members of the local Indigenous community to co-create an experience informed by their collective lifetimes of a post-apocalyptic reality.

IN-PERSON: The Transformance takes place at the Nuwu Art + Activism Studios located at 1335 S. Maryland Parkway in Las Vegas, NV. Parking is available behind the orange building at 1325 S. Maryland Parkway. To assure safe and healthy spaces for the community, all adults must be vaccinated against COVID when gathering at the Nuwu Art facilities. Public restrooms available. No additional services provided. The event is free and open to the public.

VIRTUAL: View the live broadcast scheduled for Saturday, November 13 at 2 pm on Instagram: @nevadaart

The Transformance is realized with generous support from VIA Art Fund.
Clay, Place, and Cultural Survival
Rose B. Simpson
Thursday, November 18 • 4 PM PST

Rose B. Simpson is a mixed-media artist whose work addresses the emotional and existential impacts of our collective humanity. Her practice is grounded in the ancestral pottery traditions of the Santa Clara Pueblo, where she was born, raised, and currently lives. Simpson’s sculptural works imagine a future where there are enhanced connections between realms of the psychological, cultural, spiritual, intellectual, and physical. It is a future where people are reconnected with land, rather than further detached from it.

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Land Art: Overlooking, Overlaying
Lucy R. Lippard
Friday, November 19 • 11 AM PST

An influential writer and activist who has long been engaged with the fields of Land Art, politics, and environmentalism, Lucy R. Lippard closes the 2021 Art + Environment Season offering reflections on Land Art: Past, Present, Futures. Among her relevant books on this topic are, Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West (2014), Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory (1983), and Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object (1973).

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Acknowledging Land
in Land Art

When it comes to Land Art in the American West, open land is often described as an “empty” or “blank” canvas waiting for artists to leave their mark away from the confines of a traditional gallery or museum setting.

This rhetoric is outdated and perpetuates a culture of conquest that has enabled and encouraged the exploitation of Indigenous lands. Such rhetoric also fails to acknowledge the Indigenous peoples who have nurtured, protected, and cared for these lands for thousands of years.

We acknowledge that more can be done to further research and integrate the stories of Indigenous people and cultures into our collective knowledge of the lands where these artworks were made. A shared commitment to continuing these efforts is the only way to truly shape the future of the Land Art genre.
The Nevada Museum of Art is located in the Great Basin on the occupied territories of Indigenous people. The state of Nevada consists of 27 federally recognized tribes from four nations: the Numu (Northern Paiute), Newe (Western Shoshone), Wa She Shu (Washoe), and Nuwu (Southern Paiute).