From Library Journal
If ever a series could elucidate the many forces active in contemporary art, it is Phaidon's "Themes and Movements." Divided into three major sections beginning with a survey by cultural critic and curator Brian Wallis, the book defines land and environmental art and places it in a broader context. The second section, presented by critic and editor Kastner, contains classic examples of work starting in 1947 with a maquette by Isamu Noguchi and ending with a 1996 proposal by Mark Dion. Each work is illustrated chronologically with expanded captions noting intention, process, and exhibition history. The last section is loaded with articles, reviews, and artists' statements that directly support both the survey and the works. A book like this is badly needed to consolidate a subject that has often been scattered into many categories; here Smithson, De Maria, and Christo appear alongside Ukeles, Mendieta, and Chin. Some of the artists are more conceptual while others are more sculptural, but nearly all have taken their work outside the museum setting. A virtual tour of an exhibition that spans more than four decades and thousands of miles; highly recommended for academic and large public libraries.ASusan M. Olcott, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the
'What makes the book invaluable is the comprehensiveness of its illustrations and the fascinating collection of documents in its final section.' (Modern Painters) 'The inclusiveness of this compendium of sparkling photographs and previously published texts ... is practically encyclopaedic.' (College Art Association U.A.) 'What an enticing book this is. It is great fun to browse through at leisure and it also serves as a serious scholarly reference.' (The Art Newspaper) 'This worthy tome ... A good coffee table book to impress those art college and environmentalist friends.' (Harvey Nichols Magazine) 'An excellent introductory essay by the critic Brian Wallis lists the key artists (Christo, Holt, Long, etc.), works and issues that define Land Art historically, as well as its later ramifications.' (Venue) 'This volume appears in a new Phaidon series, Themes and Movements, concerned with the documentation, both verbal and visual, of post-war art. ... All the key practitioners are here (Smithson, Heizer, De Maria, Christo, Long etc), along with some less familiar names, and the photographs - for most of us, the only access to these works - are accompanied by a generous, imaginative selection from contemporary texts." Architects' Journal "Land and Environmental Art is so massive it's almost land art itself. ... huge, handsomely designed... The photographs in the book are gorgeous (the opening panorama of De Maria's The Lightning Field is worth the book's price alone).' (Azure Magazine) 'This extraordinary book ... In his Survey, Brian Wallis gives a good overview of the art historical context of the early works, demonstrating their genesis in relation to minimalism and the modernist ideologies of critics such as Greenberg and Michael Fried. He also manages to give a sense of the radical ferment of the time: the earliest earthworks were made at the height of the Vietnam War, around the time of the student riots in Paris. ... What makes the book invaluable is the comprehensiveness of its illustrations and the fascinating collection of documents in its final section. Divided by the colour of their headlines into artist's statements, critical comment, and writings on the cultural contexts of land and environmental art, these documents vastly expand the sweep of the book. From contemporary reviews and interviews with artists to extracts from historical texts, novels and exhibition catalogues, this section could have stood alone as a source-book and an evocation of the times and thinking behind this art.' (Modern Painters) 'The chief merit of this stout volume is its documentary value. Anyone interested in this sphere of art-making should acquire the book forthwith.' (Burlington Magazine) 'The inclusiveness of this compendium of sparkling photographs and previously published texts by artists, critics, scientists, and essayists is practically encyclopaedic. ... Wallis's sophisticated analytical voice.' (College Art Association, USA (www.caareviews.org)) 'Land and Environmental Art is a wonderfully conceived and lavishly packaged survey of environmental art from the 1960s to the present. It provides a rich array of resources to help readers to understand and appreciate this tradition. ... Were Land and Environmental Art to end here, it would already be a splendid book, but a third section, titled 'Documents', offers some 100 pages of excerpts from a variety of sources, all of which have a bearing on the works presented earlier. Most of the excerpts are brief and they constitute a wonderful intellectual smorgasbord. ... What an enticing book this is. It is great fun to browse through at leisure and it also serves as a serious scholarly reference.' (The Art Newspaper) 'How, then, will this sumptuous offering from Phaidon be used in Britain? The hope is that it will rapidly take its place as the big book on the subject and gradually inject critical rigour and a sense of history into current British art in and about landscape. Certainly it deserves that role. Here at last are all the vital texts and images in the field gathered together and attractively arranged.' (Paul Usherwood, Art Monthly) 'An essential addition on an art practice, whose legacy continues to influence the work of contemporary artitsts, landscapers, and architects.' (Art & Architecture Journal)