michael heizer balances 40 ton rocks with angular steel structures at gagosian new york

michael heizer balances 40 ton rocks with angular steel structures at gagosian new york

michael heizer unveils new sculptures at gagosian

 

from march 3rd until april 16th, 2022, visitors to gagosian new york will find five new and monumental sculptures created by american artist michael heizer as part of his rock/steel series (2017–). the breathtaking and seemingly gravity-defying works pair a massive boulder, ranging from 30 to 40 tons in weight, with angular slices of weathered steel. 

 

‘the rocks are replacements for the art object—something in lieu of a consciously created, highly surfaced, highly detailed, academically studied work of fine art. a piece of rock in exchange for all that. what carries it? massive weight,’ says heizer about the artwork.

michael heizer balances 40 ton rocks with angular steel structures at gagosian new york
michael heizer, installation view, 2022

© michael heizer
photo: rob mckeever
courtesy gagosian

 

 

a tense interplay between materials

 

the sculptures were made at heizer’s studio in nevada over a four-year period using rocks extracted from a quarry in riverside, california. the new works on view at 522 west 21st street continue the artist’s exploration of the relationship between positive and negative space. the large-scale sculptures establish an interplay between two different materials, contrasting shape, texture, and color. and although monumental in size, the pieces lightly touch the floor to create a tense interaction between the sculptures and the viewer moving around them.

michael heizer balances 40 ton rocks with angular steel structures at gagosian new york
michael heizer, rock/steel #1, 2021

A588 weathering steel and rock, 11 feet 7½ inches x 13 feet 1 inch x 21 feet 3 inches (3.5 x 4 x 6.5m) 

© michael heizer
photo: rob mckeever
courtesy gagosian

 

 

the work of michael heizer

 

born in 1944 in berkeley, california, michael heizer is known for his large-scale and site-specific artwork that uses land as the medium. works from his decade-spanning career include displaced/replaced mass (1969–77), elevated, surface, depressed (1969–77), negative megalith #5 (1998) and levitated mass (2012). the artist’s most ambitious work is city, which began in the nevada desert back in 1972. described by many as heizer’s magnum opus, the mammoth earth art sculpture was slated to open in 2020 but has not yet been completed.

 

‘over the past five decades, heizer has redefined the possibilities of sculpture through a focus on scale, mass, and process. his earth-moving constructions, paintings, and drawings explore the relationships between positive and negative space with unique force, evoking a sense of transcendence,’ says gagosian. 

michael heizer balances 40 ton rocks with angular steel structures at gagosian new york
michael heizer, rock/steel #2, 2021

A588 weathering steel and rock, 13 feet 4½ inches x 11 feet 10½ inches x 20 feet 8 inches (4.1 x 3.6 x 6.3m)

© michael heizer
photo: rob mckeever
courtesy gagosian

michael heizer balances 40 ton rocks with angular steel structures at gagosian new york
michael heizer, rock/steel #3, 2021

A588 weathering steel and rock, 13 feet 1 inches x 11 feet 10½ inches x 20 feet 7 inches (4 x 3.6 x 6.3m)

© michael heizer
photo: rob mckeever
courtesy gagosian

michael heizer balances 40 ton rocks with angular steel structures at gagosian new york
michael heizer, rock/steel #4, 2021

A588 weathering steel and rock, 13 feet 6 inches x 11 feet 8 inches x 18 feet 7 inches (4.1 x 3.6 x 5.7m)

© michael heizer
photo: rob mckeever
courtesy gagosian

michael heizer balances 40 ton rocks with angular steel structures at gagosian new york
michael heizer, rock/steel #5, 2021

A588 weathering steel and rock, 11 feet 9 inches x 11 feet 11½ inches x 16 feet 9 inches (3.6 x 3.6 x 5.1m)

© michael heizer
photo: rob mckeever
courtesy gagosian

michael-heizer-gagosian-new-york-designboom-06X

installation view artwork © michael heizer. image by rob mckeever

© michael heizer
photo: rob mckeever
courtesy gagosian

 

 

project info:

 

name: rock/steel  

artist: michael heizer

location: gagosian new york, 522 west 21st street, new york

dates: march 3–april 16, 2022

hours: tuesday–saturday 10–6

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