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Nancy Holt

Sightlines

Alena J. Williams (Author), Pamela M. Lee (Contributor), Lucy R. Lippard (Contributor), Nancy Holt (Contributor), Ines Schaber (Contributor), Matthew Coolidge (Contributor), James Meyer (Contributor), Julia Alderson (Contributor) & 3 more

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Paperback, 296 pages
ISBN: 9780520282360
July 2015
$34.95, £24.95
Newly available in paperback, this landmark volume is the definitive study of the work of visionary American artist Nancy Holt (1938–2014). Since the late 1960s, Holt’s wide-ranging production has included Land art—particularly the monumental Sun Tunnels (1973–76)—as well as significant projects in sculpture, installation, photography, film, and video. A comprehensive representation of Holt’s working process in both word and image, Alena J. Williams’s momentous publication illuminates the artist’s interest in physical space and reveals how the geographic variety and boundlessness of the American landscape afforded her numerous opportunities to develop large-scale projects beyond the confines of New York City’s gallery walls. Contributions by a distinguished group of writers—including Pamela M. Lee, Lucy R. Lippard, Ines Schaber, and Matthew Coolidge—chart Holt’s fascinating trajectory from her initial experiments with sound, light, and industrial materials to major site interventions and environmental sculpture. James Meyer’s valuable interview with Holt and Julia Alderson’s illustrated chronology expand our knowledge of this groundbreaking artist and the crucial contexts in which she worked. More than twenty original writings by the artist and a rare selection of her concrete poetry, documentary photographs, and preparatory drawings reveal Holt’s revolutionary concepts of space, time, optics, and scale.
PREFACE - ALENA J. WILLIAMS
INTRODUCTION - ALENA J. WILLIAMS

ART AS A SOCIAL SYSTEM: NANCY HOLT AND THE SECOND-ORDER OBSERVER - PAMELA M. LEE
TUNNEL VISIONS: NANCY HOLT’S ART IN THE PUBLIC EYE - LUCY R. LIPPARD
PHOTOGRAPHS AND WRITINGS ON SELECTED SITE-SPECIFIC SCULPTURES - NANCY HOLT
THE CLAIMS SHE STAKES: A READING OF NANCY HOLT’S ARCHIVE - INES SCHABER
CONCRETE TRACES: NANCY HOLT’S SPEAKING MEDIA - ALENA J. WILLIAMS
SKY MOUND: MONUMENT OF PERPETUAL POSSIBILITY - MATTHEW COOLIDGE
INTERVIEW WITH NANCY HOLT - JAMES MEYER
SELECTED ARTIST’S WRITINGS - NANCY HOLT
CHRONOLOGY - JULIA ALDERSON

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
CONTRIBUTORS
INDEX
Alena J. Williams teaches modern and contemporary art history and the history and theory of film and media at the University of California, San Diego. She was curator of Nancy Holt: Sightlines, an exhibition of Holt’s Land art, films, video, and related works, which traveled to six venues between 2010 and 2013.
“A long-overdue scholarly consideration of the oeuvre of one of the originators of land art. . . . Highly recommended.”—Choice
“This book provides ample basis to appreciate Holt’s distinctive contributions to historical land art and photographic media.”—Oxford Art Journal
“A collection of essays that effectively broaden the scope of Holt’s traditional designation as a Land artist. . . . Handsomely illustrated.”—Women’s Art Journal
“The exhibition and catalogue fill a conspicuous gap in the scholarship of postwar art in the U.S. and in our understanding of Holt’s aesthetic. . . . Like her Sun Tunnels installation, in which the huge tubes become apertures, Sightlines situates Holt at the intersection of organizing systems and an infinitely expanding field of vision. It is a strength of this detailed and beautifully installed show that it also reveals an artist pursuing that which eludes both vision and order.” —Art in America

“Holt’s long-standing interest in astronomical themes . . . loom[ed] large in an excellent survey of her early output between 1966 and 1980 at Columbia University’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery. . . . We can be grateful that a concurrently published book of critical essays is dedicated to Holt’s entire oeuvre—even if, quite surprisingly, it is the first.” —Artforum International

“A long-overdue scholarly consideration of the oeuvre of one of the originators of land art. . . . Highly recommended.” —Choice

“A collection of essays that effectively broaden the scope of Holt’s traditional designation as a Land artist. . . . Handsomely illustrated.” —Women’s Art Journal

“This book provides ample basis to appreciate Holt’s distinctive contributions to historical land art and photographic media.” —Oxford Art Journal

“Even those who thought they knew the work of Nancy Holt well will rediscover the importance of this artist in this publication. . . . A formidable archival work.” —Gilles A. Tiberghien, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, author of Land Art

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