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Basic Data

Michael Heizer is an American artists, who is well known for his land art projects. After he studied at San Francisco Art Institute he moved to New York where he is still based today. 

  •  Born: 1944
  •  Place of birth: Berkley, California, USA
  •  Nationality: American 
  • Studied at: San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
  • Similar artists: Robert Smithson, Richard Serra, Walter de Maria
  • Era: contemporary art
  • Stylistic direction: Land Art

Similar to other land art artists he also made smaller artworks and editions which are on display in galeries and museums. 



The US artist Michael Heizer was born on November 4, 1944 in Berkeley, California. From 1963 to 1964 Heizer studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and then moved to New York City in 1966, where he came into contact with other contemporary artists such as Carl Andre, Tony Smith and Dan Flavin. However, it was not the pulsating metropolis that attracted the young Heizer, but the surrounding nature outside the big city. Here he realized his first Land Art projects at the end of the 1960s. From 1970 he also devoted himself to creating sculptural works in stone or wood. In addition, he also created abstract and monochrome paintings.

Among his most important projects is "Double Negative" from 1969, which is considered particularly radical and impressive. Using large machines and dynamite, he drove two almost 500-meter-long and precisely linear incisions into the erosion edge of the Mormon Mesa plateau near Las Vegas. In this way, the artist created a "negative" sculpture that can be walked on directly and experienced as a meditative space.

Again and again Heizer distanced himself from the ecology movement or the attempt to interpret his Land Art as ecological landscape art. "It's about art, not landscape," the artist explains.

In the 1970s, he again increasingly devoted himself to genres such as drawings, wood sculptures, or monochrome paintings consisting of geometric forms. In 1977 he also participated in documenta 6 in Kassel. In 1998 he was a participant in the Venice Biennale. Today the US American lives and works in New York and Nevada.



  • 19.01.20 - 03.05.20 Color & Complexity: 30 Years at Durham Press – Allentown Art Museum, Allentown.
  • 06.09.19 - 13.09.19 Natur betrachten – Ludwig Forum für internationale Kunst, Aachen.
  • 08.03.19 - 16.09.19 Préhistoire, Une Énigme Moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris.
  • 16.10.18 - 02.02.19 Michael Heizer – Gagosian Gallery, Le Bourget.
  • 05.11.16 - 21.12.16 Michael Heizer - Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills.
  • 25.05.16 - 10.04.16 Michael Heizer - Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City.
  • 09.01.16 - 23.04.16 Michael Heizer - Akira Ikeda Gallery, Berlin.



  • Michael Heizer: The Once and Future Monuments, William L. Fox, New York City 2019.
  • Michael Heizer - outside and inside the white cube,  Philipp von Rosen, Munich 2004.
  • Michael Heizer, Museum Folkwang (Publ.), Essen 1979.