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What is: Land Art?

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'Time, place, relativity, experience. These are the key concepts in Land Art.'

-- Ben Tufnell

Curator and writer Ben Tufnell maps out a definition of Land Art, a creative practice associated with the broader conceptual art movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Moving away from traditional media and the gallery, land artists set out to make work directly in the landscape, often using the natural materials they found there. But there were some notable divergences in the gestures and structures made by American and European artists of the period. Tufnell outlines these differences and the long-reaching and important legacy of the movement in our time of climate crisis.


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Ben Tufnell (b. 1969) is a curator and writer. He was previously a curator at Tate, Director of Exhibitions at Haunch of Venison, and is currently a Director of Parafin, an independent gallery in London. Tufnell has published widely and his books include Land Art (Tate Publishing, 2006) and Frank Stella: Connections (Hatje Cantz, 2012). In 2013-14 he co-curated the Arts Council Collection touring exhibition Uncommon Ground: Land Art in Britain 1967-79, which travelled to four UK museums. As an independent curator and writer Tufnell has collaborated with many international museums including the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Henry Moore Institute, Queensland Art Gallery, South African National Gallery, and MUAC in Mexico City, amongst others. His most recent book is In Land: Writings Around Land Art and Its Legacies (2019).

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