Phaidon presents Art & Place, the first publication to chart site-specific art across North and South America.
Art & Place presents the most exceptional examples of permanent site-specific art in the Americas, with over 500 artworks, it is the first in-depth and extensive look at major works that are specifically made for their location – be it landscape, interior or urban environment.
From the standing figures of San Agustin, Colombia to Cloud Gate in Chicago by Anish Kapoor and from the surrealist sculptures of Edward James in Mexico to the 16th Century murals in San Juan Bautista, Peru, successful works that have been chosen by consensus or committee to be permanently installed reflect the society that has created and lives beside it.
Art & Place includes site-specific work, dating from 11,000 BC to 2012 AD, but presents the works geographically rather than chronologically, allowing for fresh juxtapositions and exciting comparisons to arise. Categories covered include rock carving and painting, murals and frescos, altarpieces, sculpture, reliefs, stained glass, earthworks and Land Art. An entry of cave painting is beside a colonial-era altarpiece and follows a spread of contemporary public sculptures.
Throughout the history of man artists have created site-specific art with intentions varying from communication to urban revitalization and from memorials to ornamentation and experimentation. Works can inspire, create a sense of place, decorate or deliver a political or religious message. Places featured include civic buildings and public plazas, a power plant, places of worship, desert, forest, caves, transport infrastructure and sculpture parks.
The book features artworks by internationally renowned artists including Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson, the ‘History of Mexico’ mural by Diego Rivera and Flamingo by Alexander Calder, and works created by ancient cultures and civilizations, such as the Nazca lines in Peru, the cave paintings in Cueva de las Manos in Argentina and the Moai on Easter Island.
Each of the featured works have been selected because of the strong relationship between art and place, its meaning is intrinsically linked to it’s physical, cultural or social environment. Some of the works are monumental in scale, such as Michael Heizer’s Double Negative and The Great Serpent Mound in Ohio, others are expansive like Jose Clement Orozco’s mural cycle in the Hospicio Cabanas or immersive as in the Rothko Chapel and James Turrell’s Roden Crater, others are intricately decorated places of worship.
Site-specific art becomes an integral part of its environment and provides an opportunity to see art in a non-conventional setting. Inspired by the location and often free to create work on a large scale and with a permanence that would not be possible in a gallery environment, the artist has an opportunity to create a dialogue with a wider section of society, draw attention to the environment or space, and shape the way that people interact with the place it’s situated in.
The book includes an artists’ texts, large double spread images and descriptive to accompany and contextualize each artwork.
Published September 2013 by Phaidon
Hardcover with jacket, 368 pages with 800 colour illustrations
Size: 320 x 270 mm, 12 5/8 x 10 5/8 in
Buy this book: Art & Place: Site-Specific Art of the Americas