EXHIBITIONS: LAND ART IN AMERICA

“Land Art in America”, an exhibition conceived for the EXHIBITIONS 2018 section, offers a series of famous works by the Italian photoartist Gianfranco Gorgoni. The selection includes large-format photographic works made since the late 1960’s, in collaboration with the great masters of American Land Art such as Christo, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt, Richard Serra, and Robert Smithson, up to the most recent works with Ugo Rondinone. The project of the outdoor setting, in the spaces of the old monastery, provides large format photographic works printed on aluminum with special outdoor treatments for protection against UV rays, rain and changes in temperature.At the same time, the portfolio “Earthworks” will be presented, recently commissioned by the Nevada Museum of Art in Rhino, with an introduction by Germano Celant.

Gianfranco Gorgoni is an internationally renowned Italian photographer. He moved to New York in the Sixties, became a collaborator of L’Espresso and met Leo Castelli, who put him in contact with all the artists of his gallery including Warhol, Rauschenberg, Johns, Lichtenstein, Basquiat, Chamberlain. At Max’s Kansas City he got to know Serra, Smithson, Flavin, Morris and Carl Andre, with whom he began his project on the new avant-garde that would take him to the American desert to photograph the great works of Land Art. In South America, he photographed the events which led to the fall of the Allende government and in 1985 he published the book Cuba Mi Amor, with an introduction by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and text by Fidel Castro.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Nancy Holt
Sun Tunnels (1976), Lucin, Utah, 2017 – 2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 200 x 150 cm

This work by Nancy Holt consists of four large concrete cylinders, arranged in a cross pattern; one of the arms aligns with the sunrise and sunset on the summer solstice, the other on the winter solstice. The holes that pierce each of the cylinders represent the stars of four constellations: Draco, Perseus, Columba, and Capricorn.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Ugo Rondinone
Seven Magic Mountains (Moon Light), Jean Dry Lake, Nevada, 2016 – 2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 295x195 cm

According to the artist, Seven Magic Mountains is about boundaries and intersectons, isolation and meditation, wonder and bright colours, about the difference between the desert and the city lights. The work elicits continuities and solidarities between human nature, artificial and natural.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Ugo Rondinone
Seven Magic Mountains (Sunrise), Jean Dry Lake, Nevada, 2016 – 2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 295x195 cm

Located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, these seven totemic sculptures made of stones suggest a reflection on the relationship between human and nature, unspoilt and built environment, and on the difference between the desert and the dazzling lights of the city.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Robert Smithson
Spiral Jetty (1970), Rozel Point, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1970 – 2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 200 x 150 cm

Built on the Great Salt Lake in Utah, Spiral Jetty forms a 1,500-foot-long coil made of 6,783 tons of stone, earth, mud, salt crystals, water and seaweed, creating a work which is recognised as a “manifesto” of American Land Art. Not long ago, Spiral Jetty was named Utah’s official state artwork.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Robert Smithson
Spiral Jetty (1970), Rozel Point, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010 – 2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 295x195 cm

Despite the changes due to the natural environment, Spiral Jetty is still visible and open to visitors. This photograph was taken by Gorgoni in August 2010: “Since my first shots I have been thinking about taking aerial photos, from increasingly risky points of view. I had to use one of the Ogden doors-off Whirlybird helicopters!”.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Robert Smithson
Surrounded Island (Portrait),Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida, 1983 – 2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 100x70 cm

Commissioned by Life magazine, this is the only portrait of Christo with the maquette of his “Monet’s water lilies” (as he likes to call them). These artificial structures made of pink woven polypropylene fabric surrounding the islands of Biscayne Bay are one of the most impressive works by the Christo & Jeanne-Claude couple, as usual inclined to monumental artistic enterprises.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Robert Smithson
Surrounded Island (Portrait),Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida, 1983 – 2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 100x70 cm

In order to fix the fabric to the sea bottom, Christo and Jeanne-Claude had to take into account the sea currents and the marine and coastal habitat of this part of Florida, so that their installation could fit with all these elements, without interfering with the environment, or without being overwhelmed by the force of the sea.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Christo & Jeanne Claude
Running Fence (Sunset), Marin-Sonoma, California, 1976 – 2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 200x150 cm

One of the most famous works of the artistic duo, made between 1972 and 1976. It is a metaphorical “hedge” built with a fence made of panels of white nylon fabric, extending from East to West for almost 40 kilometres in the hills of the Californian countryside, temporarily exploiting the hills, the sky and the ocean north of San Francisco.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Michael Heizer
The City (1972 – on), Garden Valley, Nevada, 2016 – 2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 200x130 cm

Still under construction, this monumental work by Heizer is not accessible to the public yet. This is one of the few photos of it, part of a session of aerial views by Gianfranco Gorgoni. An architectural complex with pyramids and totems that recall the buildings of ancient pre-Columbian civilizations.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Michael Heizer
Double Negative (1970), Moapa Valley, Nevada, 1970-2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 150x120 cm

Created in the Nevada desert, the artwork consists of two long trenches, 15 metres deep, made with blasting and bulldozing to produce two artificial canyons that line up perfectly, with a natural corridor across the divide. One of the most important works of American land art is now at risk, due to bad conservation.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Michael Heizer
Motorcycle Drawings (1970), Dry Lake, Nevada, 1970-2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 585x100 cm

Joint artwork by Heizer & Gorgoni, proved by the steel pipe tower built for the shooting session; this way, it was possible to capture this extremely short-lived work by Michael Heizer, made of circles produced by his motorcycle on the sandy bed of a dry lake.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Michael Heizer
Motorcycle Drawings (1970), Dry Lake, Nevada, 1970-2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 150x120 cm

From this image you can guess that the circles were produced not only by the tires of the motorcycle, but also by using big boots with iron soles, that Heizer wore in order to leave tracks on the ground. The drawings were finished in a day, making continuous circular patterns, and were washed away by the rain a few weeks later.

Gianfranco Gorgoni / Walter De Maria
Chalk Piece at Dry Lake, Nevada, 1970 -2018

HD printing technology on 3 mm. D-bond. UV polyurethane varnishing protection 100x70 cm

This extremely fleeting artwork consists of a cross drawn with chalk powder in the Nevada desert, where each of the arms of the cross is more than one hundred metres long. The work reflects on the importance of the performance itself, of the artwork that starts a temporary dialogue with the landscape, and on the passing nature of time, since its signs disappear with the effects of the natural world.