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Lightning Field - Walter de Maria

17 May 2011

There's an art piece I've always wanted to visit, and it's in the middle of nowhere in Quemado,  New Mexico, south of Albuquerque.

Commissioned by The Dia Art Foundation in 1977 this piece was built by Walter de Maria who chose the site partly for it's electrical storms which occur roughly 60 days per year.  "Lightning Field" is 400 stainless steel rods laid out in a grid stretching 1 mile in one direction and a kilometer in another.  The rods are 220 feet apart and are all the exact same height.  Walter de Maria chose the area carefully, it's on an empty plateau surrounded by mountains and I've been told it's stunning landscape straight out of a western.  Only six people can visit it per day and only for six months of the year. Well I live in hope of going there one day, it sounds very simple,  ambitious and also beautiful.  Imagine being one of the lucky visitors who gets stormy weather when you are visiting.


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