Massive ‘City’ sculpture opens Sept. 2 in remote Nevada desert

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Limited tours of the enormous sculpture known as “City” will be available by reservation beginning Sept. 2.

The sculpture is over a mile and a half long and a half mile wide. It was built from rock, concrete and compacted earth at the Basin and Range National Monument about four hours north of Las Vegas.

Artist Michael Heizer began working on the project over 50 years ago. He has been described as “one of the greatest innovators of our time”. He was born in Berkeley, California, in 1944, and lives in Hiko, Nevada, near the “City”.

“Over half a century of construction – a time scale evocative of the immemorial cultures that inspired it – the city is as monumental as an ancient pre-Columbian complex or Egyptian ceremonial structures and is as uncompromising as the high desert of Nevada’s Basin and Range National Monument, the environment that is its setting and its substance,” according to a press release.

Art critic Dave Hickey describes his visit to the site: “Approaching the cut on foot from the north or south, elements of a cityscape appear to rise or fall from within the excavation. which cuts flat into the rising ridge. … As one moves towards a belvedere, Heizer’s cultural interventions open up the space. The roads, domes, and pits inside the excavation are elegantly bounded by long, silent Sumerian curves. They restore our sense of distance and scale, so City’s complexity reveals itself as a graceful intervention in the desert…composed and complete.

The Triple Aught Foundation, a non-profit organization responsible for overseeing the sculpture, announced the opening in a press release today. He said visits will be limited for the first year of operation. The foundation created an endowment for the City with initial funding of nearly $30 million.

Heizer is known for producing large outdoor “earthwork” sculptures, including “Double Negative” at Mormon Mesa, just northeast of Valley of Fire State Park.

Heizer is also known for “North, East, South, West”, a sculpture built from 1967 to 2002 which is displayed at the Dia Beacon in New York. – northeast-southwest-19672002-2003-174-1-4

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