Saturday, August 3, 2013


Sculptor and musician Walter DeMaria (1935-2013) passed away this past July while visiting his 100 year old mother in California.  This notoriously private artist allowed his work to speak for him,  and in doing so added both mystery and poetry to works that turned minimalist pieces into interactive marvels without using electricity (except for the beautiful and frightening LIGHTENING FIELD 1977). The NEW YORK EARTH ROOM's (1977) intoxicating smell and perceptual weight, as well as his BED OF SPIKE's (1969) dangerous invitation to disaster are equally difficult to shake off. That "isms" such as minimalism,  process art,  earth art,  and conceptualism could be given such sensual immediacy is a tribute to what he brought to the materials he used and the ideas he sought to trespass beyond transience. The Dia Art Foundation must be thanked for giving DeMaria's monumental constructs a place in the world. Also keep in mind that he played drums in an early incarnation of the Velvet Underground (with Lou Reed & John Cale) called The Druds. Art Rock for sure!

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