Just last year Robert Morris died at the age of 87 and because of a folder i found on his Observatory in the Netherlands, this folder reminded me of his importance for Modern and Minimal art. Robert Morris had a special connection with the Netherlands and during his life he made some iconic land Art projects on this country. One of these projects was the ” OBSERVATORIUM” at a town called Lelystad. The best is can do now is show you how impressive and “beautiful this project still is:
Marinus Boezem (1934) belongs, together with Jan Dibbets and Ger van Elk, among the most important representatives of the Conceptual Art and Arte Povera movement in The Netherlands. In the 1960s, Boezem discovered that he could use elusive elements such as air, weather, wind and light as visual materials and made a name with radical, immaterial works that were far ahead of their time. Boezem was one of the initiators of the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Op Losse Schroeven: Situaties en Cryptostructuren’ (1969) at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and took part in the equally influential exhibition ‘When Attitudes Become Form’ at the Kunsthalle Bern in the same year.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
In 1969 he created one of his most famous works of art, ‘Signing the Sky Above The Port of Amsterdam With an Aeroplane, 1969’: exactly as stated in its title, an aircraft’s condensation trails were used to spell out Boezem’s surname in the sky, the ephemeral wording disappearing almost as soon as it was created. In 1971 he made an artwork for television that was broadcast under the auspices of Gerry Shum’s legendary Fernseh Gallery. Furthermore, Boezem created numerous works in public space and land art. The Green Cathedral is a beautiful example: 174 Italian poplar trees are planted to reproduce the floor plan and measurements of the Cathedral at Reims, in a flat polder near Almere, the Netherlands.
In an oeuvre spanning more than sixty years, Marinus Boezem has created a body of work that stands quite independently in contemporary art. His works are part of many important museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Gemeentemuseum Den Haag; Museum Kröller-Muller, Otterloo; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar; and many more public art collections.
Another iconic artist from the sixties, who has made a name for himself in the Netherlands is Robert Smithson, because of the project Broken circle/ Spiral hill from 1971 which he realized near Emmen.
It is unfortunate that Smithson only reached the age of 35 , otherwise other beautiful projects would have been realized, of which a great deal in the Netherlands because Smitshon was possibly the first land art artist who became famous over here because of his land art project near Emmen. His “Spiral Jetty” is probably his best known project, but for these travellers who like to visit a classic land art work. The Broken Circle Spiral Hill at Emmen is an absolute must. There are 2 important Smithson publications available at www.ftn-books.com
Time to dedicate a blog to another icon of minimal art, but not only minimalism , but also Land Art was one of the key parts within his oeuvre. Robert Morris was one of the central figures of Minimalism. Through both his own sculptures of the 1960s and theoretical writings, Morris set forth a vision of art pared down to simple geometric shapes stripped of metaphorical associations, and focused on the artwork’s interaction with the viewer. However, in contrast to fellow Minimalists Donald Judd and Carl Andre, Morris had a strikingly diverse range that extended well beyond the Minimalist ethos and was at the forefront of other contemporary American art movements as well, most notably, Process art and Land art. Through both his artwork and his critical writings, Morris explored new notions of chance, temporality, and ephemerality. This makes him one of the most important contemporary American artists alive. As early as the early sixties thre has been an interest in his minimal and land art in the Netherlands. The Kroller Muller, Stedelijk Museum and van Abbemuseum all held exhibitions on Morris. Some of these publications are still available at www.ftn-books.com. Lately the interest in his works has decreased, but that does not mean that his projects are not epic. This is an artists of whom people say in the 23rd century…….a true visionary.
Wim Beeren was the first curator /director of the Stedelijk Museum who bought for the collection of the SM a Walter de Maria. Others in the Netherlands, ao the Museum Boymans van Beuningen, would follow, but still there are not many works by de Maria to be found in dutch collections. Probably the main reason is not their appeal, but these works are hard to collect because of their sheer size and complexity. They need space….. a lot of space……
Complete rooms or even outside spaces have to be dedicated to one work ( see lightning field, de Maria’s most famous work) and that is for many Museums and collectors the main reason not to include a de Maria. Still whenever there is a retrospective in a museum, visitors are impressed and one can easily see why. Look at the video and get a nice impression of his qualities of his form of LAND ART.
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20