Individual Artists

The Lightning Field (Dia Foundation) by Kenneth Baker

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By Kenneth Baker

Walter De Maria's Lightning Field (1977) is likely one of the twentieth century's most vital artworks. located in a distant sector of barren region in southwestern New Mexico, it includes four hundred polished, chrome steel poles (spaced 220 ft aside) put in in a grid measuring one mile by means of one kilometer. A sculpture to be explored taking walks, The Lightning Field is meant to be skilled over a longer time period.  


Critic Kenneth Baker visited The Lightning Field various instances over the process the earlier 30 years as a way to write this article. encouraged and challenged by means of this notable art, Baker speculates at the process our modern human situation. yet, instead of construction on principles in narrative series, he deploys citation to influence a number of views and issues of view. Baker's citations and skillfully crafted prose are arrayed––in a metaphorical parallel to De Maria's choreographing of the gigantic panorama of the yank Southwest––to create a compelling textual content.  

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Extra resources for The Lightning Field (Dia Foundation)

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58 And our culture’s ways of conducting itself leave us defenseless against the trauma of time’s About his historical pessimism we cannot be so sure. I think of Richard Wilbur’s lines from a 1961 poem called “Advice to a passage.

Even what we call the past is built on bits, Wheeler argues, for the if not unknowable. conundrums of probability and actuality in the quantum domain are unanchored A basic question, then, is what constitutes “an observer”? At another level, in time and space as we experience them. His thinking on these matters carries the same question is implicit in many works of modernist and postmodernist the interesting requirement that we reject now-centeredness . . as firmly as art, though few of them enrich it as The Lightning Field does.

It is like an anchorite’s mask that each visitor tries defining, one in which relations of distance and proximity pertain to existential on. Some find it a comfortable fit, others chafe under it. I can feel the pull of its facts more profound than the evolving capacities of transport, communication, implicit fantasy of self-sufficiency. and representation. Locals like Robert and Karren Weathers, who look after The Lightning Field, must appear to many outsiders as autonomous, as the cabin hints it is possible to 46 47 be.

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