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U.S. CALIFORNIA. Michael Heizer’s monumental sculpture Levitated Mass to Open at LACMA June 24
28/05/2012 11:09:17

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announces that artist Michael Heizer’s monumental sculpture Levitated Mass will open to the public on Sunday, June 24. Originally conceived by the artist in 1969, Levitated Mass is a 456-foot-long concrete slot, over which sits a 340-ton granite boulder. As visitors walk through the slot, the pathway descends to fifteen feet in depth, running underneath the boulder before ascending back up.

“This is a historic occasion, one many years in the making,” said LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan. “Thousands of families witnessed the transport of the 340-ton megalith to LACMA this spring, and now Michael Heizer has realized his artwork on the museum’s campus, where it will stand for generations to come. I am grateful to the many generous donors who made this incredible endeavor possible.”

Transport of the boulder from a quarry in Jurupa Valley to LACMA — one of the largest megalithic stones to be moved since ancient times — made international headlines in March of this year. The 11-night journey through five counties and twenty-two cities drew thousands of enthusiastic onlookers day and night from all over Southern California. Transport was made possible by Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd. As a show of thanks to the many communities which saw and hosted this historic transport, the museum is offering a free admission to residents of select zip codes during the week of June 24 to July 1.

Levitated Mass was made possible by private gifts to Transformation: The LACMA Campaign from Jane and Terry Semel, Bobby Kotick, Carole Bayer Sager and Bob Daly, Beth and Joshua Friedman, Steve Tisch Family Foundation, Elaine Wynn, Linda, Bobby, and Brian Daly, Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd., Richard Merkin, MD, and the Mohn Family Foundation. LACMA has dedicated this acquisition to the memory of Nancy Daly, former chair of LACMA’s board of trustees.

Michael Heizer was born in Berkeley, California, in 1944. He briefly attended the San Francisco Art Institute and moved to New York City in 1966, where he produced large-scale paintings. In late 1968-69, Heizer chose to operate between his studios in New York and a ranch he eventually built in Nevada. Here, he began to produce large-scale sculptures such as Nine Nevada Depressions and Displaced/Replaced Mass, as well as large earth drawings and paintings on dry lakes in California and Nevada. To interpret these immense sculptures in a gallery setting, Heizer developed his unique use of large-scale still photography in the form of collages and static projections. His 1969 artwork Double Negative (now owned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) inspired generations of artists. Heizer is currently completing his largest project, City, begun in 1972.

For more information, see

Image: Megalith slated to become part of Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass,” arriving to LACMA on March 10. Photo by Tom Vinetz, © Michael Heizer.

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