Themes in Art

Earth Art

Also called land art, environmental art, or earthworks. Earth art was popular with prehistoric peoples, though menhirs and mounds were more likely for protection, burial, or ceremony than existential conceptual art intenventions. In the 1960s and 70s, artists got back into the expressive potential of pushing dirt around and took to the desert to create larger than life monuments. Earth art is often talked about as a rejection of traditional gallery spaces—though photos, drawings, and maps of the megasculptures provided popular (and lucrative) stand-ins.

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Avebury Henge, Neolithic

Avebury Henge 2600BCE

Broken Circle, Robert Smithson

Broken Circle Robert Smithson, 1971

Spiral Jetty, Robert Smithson

Spiral Jetty Robert Smithson, 1970

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