The Hills Are Alive with Landscape Art: Photos
Using both high-tech and low-tech strategies, artists transform landscapes into works of art.
Sometimes referred to as earth art or earthworks, land art is a movement that started in the 1960s in which large-scale sculptures were created from the landscape itself. To achieve their designs, artists working in this area often use multiple, overlapping disciplines of science and technology -- from architecture to crop sciences to landscape engineering. Above, a figurative earth sculpture of Sultan the Pony at Penallta Parc in Wales.
Kansas landscape artist
recently completed this rendition of Vincent Van Gogh's painting "Olive Trees." Commissioned by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, it covers 1.2 acres near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and is designed to be viewed by passengers in incoming airliners.
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Herd has created works all over the planet, including this three-acre piece in Sao Paulo, "Young Woman of Brazil," part of a larger initiative to raise awareness on poverty issues in the country. The artist is currently
through Indiegogo to finish the piece.
In 1979, artist James Turrell acquired the land around the three-mile-wide volcanic cone known as Roden Crater in Arizona. This satellite photo shows his ongoing land art project, which involves turning the inner cone of the crater into a giant naked-eye observatory.
The Desert Breath, located in Egypt near the Red Sea coast, is made from a spiraling series of earthwork cones. The above-ground cones were created with sand from the depressed cones dug into the surface. The piece covers an area of about 25 acres.
Created by artist Robert Smithson in 1970, Spiral Jetty is a 1,500-foot long art work that extends toward -- and occasionally into -- the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Depending on water levels, the sculpture is sometimes partially or totally submerged under the lake waters.
Part of a planned series of artificial islands off the coast of Dubai, Palm Jumeirah is shaped to resemble a palm tree and was created by moving more than 7 million tons of rock. Designed as an exclusive enclave for the wealthy, the controversial project crosses elements of land art with blunt commercial development.
Depending on how you define your terms, land art has potentially been around for thousands of years. The famous Nazca Lines in southern Peru are ancient geoglyphs created between 500 BC and 500 AD. Hundreds of individual figures were created by removing surface rocks and pebbles to expose the ground underneath.
Crop circles used to be the domain of hoaxers and alien conspiracy theorists, but in recent years they've become a kind of subset of land art for legitimate artists and groups. Hundreds of creative designs pop up annually around the world, like this 2007 collaborative effort in Switzerland. Crop circles are typically created by flattening crops using wooden boards and lengths of rope extended from a designated anchor point. GET MORE:
Certain kinds of land art aren't meant to last. Artist
community-based Snow Drawings series involves recruiting local volunteers to transform freshly fallen snow into temporary artworks by way of snowshoes and some very long, very specific strolls through the snow.