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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Friday, November 15, 2013

...an ambitious and worthy representation

Art & Place: Site-Specific Art of the Americas    

From Brazil to Central America, Mexico to the United States and through to Canada, from Andy Goldsworthy pieces to George Segal's Gardens. Be it endangered Richard Serra's Shift in a private field outside Toronto to Walter DeMaria's work, The Broken Kilometer, Soho, or the murals of Mexican artist, Jose Clement Orozco and of course Diego Rivera, amazing works are captured.
The commonality is how these installations at once impose and merge with their landscape.
The thing that strikes me most about the more historically current installations is the sheer delight of them, their playfulness. They are often things to wonder at, delight in.
Whether that installation be in a field, in the desert, near the shoreline, they are amazing.
Architecturally significant sites are included, buildings of significance, or other in situations specific to their site.
Outdoor sculptures and art works in public spaces are part of this comprehensive catalogue including Marc Chagall's three-dimensional monolithic mosaic in Chicago.    
The sites for indigenous American places are another thing. Often sites of religious or communal significance, the wonder here is for the history of these cultures. The age of these artifacts, the petroglyphs giving insight of the past. The realization of this different history, glimpses into another time, is something to gaze at in awe, as is this wonder that they have survived for us to see.
This photographic journal is a fascinating tour across the Americas. What a fun road trip even visiting a few of these locations would be! Searching out these places, following in the footsteps of Art & Place's presenters would be a worthy adventure. 
The scope of works represented is enormous and it is no wonder that it's a joint project of the reputable Phaidon group.
For those of us who are armchair voyagers, who are entranced by landscape installations, this certainly is an ambitious and excellent visual statement about places and spaces across the Americas' panorama that goes beyond geographical information, cataloguing as it does human endeavours of 'art' in the environment.

A NetGalley ARC

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