Michelle Stuart Nazca Lines Star Chart and Nazca Lines Southern Hemisphere Constellation Chart Correlation 1981-82

  • Not on view

This is one of a series of works Stuart made using earth from Nazca, Peru. Nazca is an enigmatic archeological site where, between 500 b.c. and 500 a.d., lines depicting living creatures, stylized plants, imaginary beings, and geometric figures—hundreds of feet long—were scratched into the land. This work features similar lines in the main panel (drawn by rubbing the Peruvian earth on paper), juxtaposed with a star chart of the area and another drawing by the artist on the smaller panel. Related to the work of other Land artists working in the 1960s, Stuart’s process involves direct contact with and intervention in the natural environment, juxtaposing natural and human formations. Her choice of essential substances (such as earth pigments) and an ethereal subject (the linear paths of the stars) indicate a concern for natural history and the systems governing nature.

Gallery label from On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, November 21, 2010-February 7, 2011.
Earth from Nazca, Peru on rag paper, mounted rag board, and pencil and ink on layered vellums
10' 1/4" x 14' 1/2" (305.3 x 428 cm) and 17 x 22" (43.2 x 55.9 cm)
Gift of William S. Paley
Object number
© 2024 Michelle Stuart
Painting and Sculpture

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