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Artnet Top Ten
6/10/03


Earthworks have entered art history, that much goes without saying (though if you want proof, there's Suzaan Boettger's new history, Earthworks: Art and the Landscape of the Sixties, published by the University of California Press).

But the entry of Earthworks into the art world's other institutions, the museum and the market, has been less certain. The recent unveiling of the grand new Hudson River-side museum, Dia:Beacon, has helped a little, enshrining a few examples from a few members of the 1960s Earthworks generation in a vast industrial kunsthalle [see "Inside the Box Factory," June 3, 2003].

But when it comes to the auction market, well, let's just say that huge mounds of dirt don't show very well on the salesroom turntable. Presumably, that's part of what those art cowboys were after in the first place, and it looks like they've succeeded. Undissuaded, however, we searched Artnet's signature Fine Art Auctions Database for works by the leading Earthworks artists. The results are listed here, despite the fact that many are not, in fact, Earthworks.

True, Richard Long has managed to bring his land art into the gallery, as has Michael Heizer and, more recently, Andy Goldsworthy. Carl Andre and Walter de Maria, who made large and temporary works outdoors in the late 1960s, are represented in the art market by their indoor Minimalist floor sculptures. Similarly, James Turrell, whose ongoing Roden Crater Project is an Earthwork landmark, is represented by one of his equally coveted light installations.

Still other Earthworks artists -- Jan Dibbets, Robert Morris, Dennis Oppenheim -- are visible in the market with art from what might be called their post-Earthworks production. Curiously, that popular 1970s stand-in for the art object -- documentary photographs or drawings -- remains only modestly valued at auction.

Subscriptions to Artnet's Fine Art Auctions Database begin at $29.95. Formore info, go to member services.

       
 
     
 
1.
Carl Andre
Copper-aluminum plain (18 parts of each metal, alternated)
1969
aluminum w/copper, .4 x 72 x 72 in.
$559,500
(Est. $300,000-$400,000)
Sotheby's New York
May 15, 2002
 
     
 
2.
Robert Smithson
Double Nonsite, California and Nevada
1968-69
installation with variously sized steel boxes, lava and obsidian
signed
$266,500
(est. $60,000-$80,000)
Christie's New York
June 3, 1998
 
     
 
3.
Richard Long
Whitechapel Slate Circle
1981
slate, ca. 180 in. diameter
$209,000
(est. $30,000-$50,000)
Sotheby's New York
May 3, 1989
 
     
 
4.
Walter de Maria
Eros Ion
1968
stainless steel, 72 x 100 x 1.4 in.
signed, stamped
$200,500
(est. $100,000-$150,000)
Christie's New York
June 3, 1998
 
     
 
5.
James Turrell
Raethro
1967
installation with light projection
unique
$116,000
(est. $60,000-$80,000)
Christie's New York
May 16, 2000
 
     
 
6.
Jan Dibbets
Octagon II 1982
watercolor
73 x 72.5 in.
signed
$68,500
(est. $12,000-$16,000)
Sotheby's New York
May 3, 1995
 
     
 
7.
Robert Morris
Untitled
1980
black felt, 96 x 48 in.
$63,250
(est. $10,000-$15,000)
Sotheby's New York
Feb. 27, 1990
 
     
 
8.
Michael Heizer
Vermont
gray granite, large circle diameter: 122 cm.; four small circles diameter: 61cm.
1977
$44,000
(est. $12,000-$15,000)
Sotheby's New York
May 1, 1991
 
     
 
9.
Dennis Oppenheim
Rocking Danceur
from the "power tool" series (study)
1989
color pencil, pastel and oil, 49.8 x 76.4 in.
Signed
F95,000 ($17,165)
(No listed estimate)
Dumousset & Deburaux
May 16, 1990
 
     
 
10.
Andy Goldsworthy
Snow Cone, Ggrise Fjord, Ellesmere (in 2 parts)
1989
Cibachrome, 52.5 x 42 in.
ed. 5
11,162 ($15,792)
(est. 5,000-7,000 ($7,058-$9,881))
Christie's South Kensington
June 29, 2001
 
 
 
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