Land art is a form of art that involves the use of the earth as its primary medium. The term “land art” was coined by the American artist Robert Smithson in the late 1960s, and it is used to describe any work that involves one or more pieces of land.

Land artists also make use of natural materials such as soil and water, and they may include objects such as rocks, trees, or even animals.

Land art can be in any form, including sculpture, painting, photography, video installation and performance art.

It can be highly conceptual or purely abstract, but it does tend to use some aspect of nature as its main focus.


What Is Land Art

What Is Land Art?

Land art is a form of art that takes place on or near a physical landscape, usually in public places but sometimes in private, to create works that are temporary and ephemeral.

Land art typically features natural elements such as plants, animals, rocks, and weather.

The term “land art” was coined by American artist Joseph Kosuth in 1967. It is related to the concept of land sculpture, which means “sculpture made out of the earth by digging or carving.”



The first example of land art was probably Jackson Pollock’s famous works of drip painting on paper (1946). These paintings were done using oil paint mixed with turpentine instead of water; however, they appeared much different from Pollock’s earlier work done in his studio at home.

Other examples include Olafur Eliasson’s Wall Paintings (1990); Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1971); Michael Heizer’s Wreck Site (1970) sculptures; Dan Graham’s light installations; Tony Cragg’s Earthworks in England

Characteristics Of Land Art

 Land art is a type of public art that uses the earth as its medium. Land art includes any work of art that is made out of natural materials such as earth, stone, wood, or metal and is presented in a temporary or permanent site.

Land art also includes any work of art that uses the earth as its medium but does not involve any human intervention in the process.

The term “land” has been used to describe many types of installations since ancient times. For example, sculptures by ancient Greek artists were often found on hillsides and in graveyards or other areas where they could be hidden from view by vegetation or other natural features.

The term “land” was also used to describe mountains because they were seen as having intrinsic qualities separate from human beings and their activities.[1]

In modern times, “land” can refer either to natural features or to social spaces that are created by humans. Landscapes (e.g., parks) are an example of natural features; man-made structures such as houses, buildings, monuments, roads and bridges are examples of social spaces.[2]


History Of Earthworks

Earthworks, also called land-art, is a type of sculpture or architecture that creates a human-made environment by using the natural features of the earth. The word “earthwork” derives from Old English woruldwerk (from woruld “earth”), but is often used to describe any work that reshapes terrain.

Earthworks are created by digging trenches, embankments and other types of foundations into the soil and arranging these features to form patterns or pictures. Earthworks are also created by stacking rocks in patterns on top of an underlying structure; this kind of earthwork is called rock art.

Earthworks were important to prehistoric people who used them for ceremonial purposes, religious observances and defensive fortifications; some may have also been used purely for entertainment purposes.

Many prehistoric earthworks survive today as archaeological monuments, but others—such as terraced fields—have disappeared entirely under modern farming practices.

The Roots Of Land Art

 The roots of land art are in the same place that the roots of modernism are: in the early 20th century. In that period, artists and architects were looking for new ways to connect with their audience and create something beautiful.

Land art is a relatively recent phenomenon, but it has its roots in two earlier movements: abstract expressionism and minimalism. Abstract expressionism was an attempt by artists to simplify their work, making it more accessible to viewers while still retaining some sense of complexity.

Minimalism, likewise, was an attempt to strip away all unnecessary elements from paintings or objects by focusing on form and color. Land art builds on these ideas by taking them one step further: instead of just removing detail and creating simplified works, land artists add new layers of meaning through their artworks.

Land art is often referred to as earthwork because it often involves building structures out of soil or other natural materials found on site (like rocks). While most land artists don’t consider themselves part of any movement or group, there are a few key themes that have emerged over time: environmentalism and sustainability; human inhabitation; permanence; cyclicality and repetition; playfulness

Famous Earthworks And Land Art

 The earthworks are art. They are not just a bunch of rocks. They have been made with love and care by artists who consider them their babies.

The artists have given their lives to these creations, and they have given them the same love and care as any mother gives her child.

The artist’s intention is not just to make art but to create something that people can connect with on a personal level, something that they can feel, something that they can touch and hold in their hands. And they want it to be beautiful, because beauty is what makes life worth living.

Earthworks are created by removing all traces of man-made structures and replacing them with natural materials: rocks, soil, sand and gravel; geologic layers; trees; shrubs; grasses; flowers; vines.

Landmark Land Art Examples

There are many examples of landmark land art in the world. Some examples include the Great Wall of China, Easter Island, and Stonehenge.


The Great Wall of China was built over 2,000 years ago by the Chinese. This wall is one of the oldest man-made structures in existence. It stretches for more than 4,000 kilometers and is made from different types of bricks and stones.

The Great Wall has an interesting history that includes being used for defense purposes during wars and also being a tourist attraction today. The wall was even featured in one of the most popular computer games ever created! In addition to being viewed as a tourist attraction,

people use it as a symbol of pride because they believe that it represents their nation’s strength and power.

Easter Island is another example of landmark land art that has stood the test of time. This island located off the coast of Chile has approximately 1,500 stone statues called moai on it.

These moai were created by early Polynesians who inhabited this island during their colonization period between 300 BC – 1500 AD (Fischer). The moai represent human figures made out of stone which is quite primitive technology compared to what we know today! The number

Spiral Jetty By Robert Smithson – Land Art Examples

Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson is a sculpture of a jetty that is located in the Great Salt Lake near the town of Boca Raton, Utah. The sculpture was created from a tunnel, which was dug out of the lake bed.

It is made from poured concrete and has several ramps that lead to different parts of the jetty with views out over the lake.

Robert Smithson was born in Brooklyn, New York. He studied architecture at Yale University and then moved to New York City in 1953.

After graduating, he moved to Mexico City where he worked as an architect for several years until 1966 when he started working on Spiral Jetty while living in Mexico City.

In 1969, Smithson returned to the United States where he continued to work as an architect in New York City until 1974 when he began work on Spiral Jetty again after moving back to Arizona from New York City where he had been living since 1974.

A Line Made By Walking By Richard Long – Land Art Examples

 Land Art is a type of art or architecture that was created by artists who used the natural environment as their subject matter. The environment can be found on land, ocean or in space.

The first Land Art work to be made was by Andy Goldsworthy, who was inspired by his travels to the US Southwest in 1978. His work is called “The turning of nature”, which consists of hundreds of mirrors placed around a tree trunk.

Over time, these mirrors reflect the changing weather patterns and create a moving artwork that changes constantly with the seasons.

In 1991, Richard Long created his most famous work “A Line Made By Walking”, which consists of 12,000 footprints laid down over an area of 600 square metres (6.5 acres). Each footprint represents one person’s steps on this piece of land over an entire day’s walk over 6 months.

This piece has been called one of the greatest pieces of Land Art ever created because it allows people to interact and experience nature up close.

Sun Tunnels By Nancy Holt – Land Art Examples

Sun tunnels are a new art form made of recycled materials that acts like a sun dial. They can be used to tell time and are an interesting way to use nature in your home.

Sun tunnels are constructed from recycled materials such as plastic bottles, paper, cardboard and other recyclable items. They can be built in any shape or size depending on what you have available at your home or yard.

The sun tunnel has been around for years but has only recently gained popularity as an art form because of the interest in solar energy and climate change.

The sun tunnel acts as a clock, telling the time by how long it takes the light to pass through it on its way to the ground below. The concept was first developed by artist Nancy Holt who used her own home as an example of using nature in her art work.

Stellar Axis By Lita Albuquerque – Land Art Examples

 Stellar Axis is a land art installation by Lita Albuquerque, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It was commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts and built in collaboration with artists from around the world. Stellar Axis consists of three steel spheres suspended from a wire structure that rotates 360 degrees every four hours.

The spheres are an exact replica of the Big Dipper constellation and represent three different constellations: Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, and Cepheus. The center sphere represents Polaris, known as “the Northern Star” because it appears to stay fixed in the northern sky. The other two spheres represent Polaris’s sister stars, Ursa Minor and Cepheus.

Stellar Axis is one part of a larger project entitled “The Sky Is Your Oyster”, which features three more sculptures at Night Sky Gallery in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Each sculpture is designed to capture the night sky on film so that people can compare what they see with what they know about constellations and stars.

From March through November each year, visitors have access to these sculptures through guided tours led by local astronomers.

What Is Land Art – Wrap Up

 Land art is a term used to identify a wide range of artworks that are created on land, but not necessarily in their natural environment. Land art is usually created by artists who are not tied to any particular movement or trend, but it can also be found in the work of artists who were influenced by other movements and trends.

Land art has been around since the 1960s, when Andy Warhol’s Brillo boxes became iconic pieces of pop culture. Since then, many other artists have used land as a canvas for their works of art.

The most famous example of this is James Turrell’s Skyspace an installation that uses light and shadow to create an optical illusion that hides its true shape from view. Other works like these have become more popular in recent years thanks to their ability to inspire people all over the world.

Land art has been described as everything from abstract sculpture to landscape paintings and even music videos.

It can be found all over the world today, both in museums and on public lands such as parks or beaches. Some people think that land art should only be created on public property; others feel that it should be accessible to everyone regardless of where they live or where they work.