The Nasher Sculpture Center announces Groundswell: Women of Land Art, an exhibition featuring 12 American artists through installation, sculpture, documentation and historical ephemera, on view from September 23, 2023 to January 7, 2024.
In the 1960s American artists began to move beyond the institutional spaces of galleries and museums to work directly in the land. With ties to Minimal and Conceptual art, these artists foregrounded natural materials and the site itself to create works that were large in scale and located outside of typical urban art world circuits.
For many years, art historical narratives of Land art have been dominated by men: Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, Walter de Maria, and others. Groundswell: Women of Land Art, intends to shift that focus to shed new light on the vast number of Land works by women artists, whose careers ran parallel to their better-known male counterparts, yet have received less recognition and representation in museum presentations.
The exhibition features 12 artists recognized for their sustained engagement with Land art: Lita Albuquerque (American, born 1946); Alice Aycock (American, born 1946); Beverly Buchanan (American, 1940–2015); Agnes Denes (American, born in Hungary,1931); Maren Hassinger (American, born 1947); Nancy Holt (American, 1938–2014); Patricia Johanson (American, born 1940); Ana Mendieta (American, born in Cuba, 1948–1985); Mary Miss (American, born 1944); Jody Pinto (American, born 1942); Michelle Stuart (American, born 1933); and Meg Webster (American, born 1944).
“This exhibition presents a fuller, truer history of this pivotal movement,” says Nasher director Jeremy Strick. “In our time of deepening environmental crisis, Groundswell: Women of Land Art gathers work by 12 artists whose art powerfully provokes consideration of our relationship to the land, through both ephemeral and grand gestures. We are proud of how this exhibition presents their critical, profoundly relevant contributions.”
Installations, sculpture, documentation of site-specific works and performances, proposals, and drawings will be installed throughout the center, including works reimagined for the Nasher, such as Maren Hassinger’s Blanket of Branches (1986), Nancy Holt’s Pipeline (1986), and Ana Mendieta’s Árbol de la Vida [Tree of Life] (1982). Mary Miss will debut a new work, Stream Trace: Dallas Branch Crossing, which follows the path of a buried stream passing beneath the Nasher’s garden. Patricia Johanson’s Fair Park Lagoon (1981-86), located on the grounds of Fair Park, is also included in the exhibition, allowing visitors to experience Land art in the community, with tours being offered in partnership with Fair Park First throughout the run of the exhibition.
The exhibition is organized by Nasher Associate Curator Dr. Leigh A. Arnold. Groundswell is accompanied by a richly illustrated scholarly catalogue with a central essay by Dr. Arnold, and contributions by Scout Hutchinson, Jana La Brasca, Anna Lovatt, Jenni Sorkin, and Anne Thompson, as well as a detailed chronology, exhibition checklist, and illustrated biographies of exhibition artists.
Groundswell: Women of Land Art is made possible by leading support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Henry Luce Foundation, and The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation. Generous support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art. Additional support is provided by Joanne Bober, Ann and Chris Mahowald, and Leigh Rinearson.