Michael Heizer (American, b.1944) is a Contemporary artist known for his monumental earthworks. After studying briefly at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1963 to 1964, Heizer moved to New York, before eventually establishing himself in the deserts of Nevada and California. This remoteness from the mainstream art world proved an ideal environment in which to produce Land Art, or “earth art," as he termed it. Heizer’s installations in nature have required drastic actions, such as the movement of 50-ton granite slabs or the digging of enormous holes. One piece by the artist in the Nevada desert made use of an over-sized boulder elevated over a 456-foot-long trench, which was intended to instill in the viewer a sense of levitation. Heizer’s works have been featured in over 75 solo and group exhibitions, including shows at the Nevada Museum of Art in 2011, the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2009, and New York’s Pace Gallery in 2006.

Timeline

1944
Born in Berkeley, CA
1963–1964
Attended San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
Lives and works in Nevada

Exhibitions

2009
Photoconceptualism, 1966–1973, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
1968. Die Große Unschuld, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany
2008
Michael Heizer, El Sourdog Hex, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2007
North, East, South, West, Dia: Beacon, Beacon, USA (solo)
2006
Michael Heizer, PaceWildenstein, New York, USA (solo)
Michael Heizer: Works from the 70s, Jablonka Galerie, Cologne, Germany (solo)
2005
Safe and Warm in LA, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, USA
2003
Michael Heizer, Peter Freeman, New York, USA (solo)
On the Edge: Contemporary Art from the DaimlerChrysler Collection, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, USA
1997
47th International Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia), Venice, Italy
1994
Art Before Life: Michael Heizer, Ace Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1990
American Masters of the 60's, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA
1989
Michael Heizer: New Drawings, Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1988
Michael Heizer, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA
1985
Michael Heizer: Dragged Mass Geometric, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA (solo)
1984
Michael Heizer: Geometric Extraction, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA (solo)
1983
Michael Heizer: Paintings 1967, Oil & Steel Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1980
Michael Heizer, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, USA (solo)
1979
Michael Heizer, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany and Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, The Netherlands (solo)
1977
Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
1976
Michael Heizer: New Works: Paintings and Sculpture, Xavier Fourcade, Inc., New York, USA (solo)
1974
Michael Heizer: Recent Paintings, Fourcade, Droll, Inc., New York, USA (solo)
1971
Sixth Guggenheim International Exhibition, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
1970
Michael Heizer: New York-Nevada, Virginia Dwan Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
1969
Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, Germany
Earth Art, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, USA
1968
Sculpture Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
1967
Annual Invitational Exhibition, Park Place Gallery, New York, USA

Public Collections

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV