In Season: Arid Art On cultural deserts.

In Season: Arid Art On cultural deserts.

Issue 37

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Arts & Culture

In the Northern Hemisphere, fall can feel like a season of creative withdrawal: Landscapes are stripped back to their earthy skeletons, temperatures fall and our preoccupations take a turn for the domestic. But desert artists have a different way of relating to barren places: not as withered and uninspiring, but as blank canvases for huge works of art.

In the 1960s, land artists and light artists—the former working with site-specific sculpture, the latter with natural and artificial illumination—beat a path to the deserts of the American West where they created enormous, often permanent works in the arid landscape. Desert art is now found around the world. House to Watch the Sunset was built by Swiss artist Not Vital near the desert city of Agadez in Niger. Constructed with traditi...

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