monoliths and concrete
In honor of George R. Brown
The first acquisition of the Rice Public Art collection, in 1984, was Heizer's installation of three massive granite slabs
in Rice’s Engineering Quadrangle. The work's arrangement, and its title, refer to the three basic degree
measurements used in engineering, a central focus of Rice's academic mission. Each monolith rests at a
corresponding angle, visually and materially alluding to the central building
blocks of engineering knowledge and practice.
About the Artist: California native Michael Heizer
has been a major figure in the American land art movement for decades. His monumental work
brings art out of the gallery space and utilizes the earth itself as a canvas. Past projects such as Double Negative and City blur the line
between natural objects and sculpture, and they invite the viewer to relate the
earth to their conception of art. Heizer has exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Ace Gallery (Los Angeles and New
York) among many others. In addition to this example of his work at Rice, two other works by Heizer can be seen in Houston near the main entrance to the Menil Collection: Charmstone, 1991, and Isolated Mass/Circumflex (#2), 1968-72.