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Walter De Maria, R.I.P.

July 27, 2013
Art my De Maria De Maria's Lightning Field in Catron County, New Mexico. Credit: Dia Art Foundation

The sculptor, Walter De Maria, known for his simple, yet massive, witty, and disorienting environmental works, the most famous of which was “The Lightning Field,” died this week in Los Angeles.  

He was the quintessential New York avant-garde conceptualist/minimalist – having participated in Happenings, played percussion with Lou Reed and John Cale in the group that would become the Velvet Underground, and early on caught the attention of the Dia Arts Foundation, which early on supported and advanced his work and that of several other New York minimalists, including Donald Judd and John Chamberlain.

But like so many of his cohorts, including Judd and Chamberlain, De Maria came from someplace else.  In his case, that place was Albany, CA. De Maria went to Berkeley, studied art under David Park, and before heading to New York (with Le Monte Young, the renowned New York minimalist composer…. from Idaho)  was part of the art and music scene in Berkeley and San Francisco. He was 77 when he died.

— Wendy Miler

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