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The national history of land art

05:49 PM

KATÓ Eszter

(From previous issue No.37)

Introduction

Over recent years, various forms of land art (earth art, public art, nature art, etc.) have been gaining more and more ground, not only in several countries around the world but in Hungary as well. Over the last decade in Hungary, more and more institutes of higher education have started to specialize in this area of fine art. However, the national history of land art is poorly documented, and no detailed summary about the topic has been published up to this day. The aim of my thesis was to compensate this, also providing a framework for a first land art park in Hungary. This article introduces the results of my research in art history from the perspective of a landscape architect.

Hommage for Robert Smithson

Hommage for Robert Smithson

About land art in general

The concept of land art

In the 1960s and ‘70s, several artistic trends appeared all over the world, which marked out a territory in the borderland between landscape architecture and art. Over the years, the demand for a comprehensive denomination has arisen on the part of artists' and art historians' as well as on the part of landscape artists'. However, specifications that have emerged in this way are most often unreliable and misleading. This conceptual confusion may be solved by the consistent use of a specialist term – land art – the definition of which is as follows:

Land art includes those open-space pieces of art which have been made with the demand of art and which have a close and inseparable connection with their environment (they are sitespecific). The completed works and the hosting environment together form the land art work. The connection to the land can be manifested in the use of both living and lifeless materials, or “local energies” such as genius loci, cultural heritages, special landscape features etc.

Because of the site-specific nature of these works and because the location is known before the planning stage, the work and the environment have an inseparable connection from the first stages of creation.

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