A pioneering artist who worked at the intersection of Land art, Minimalism, and Conceptualism, Walter De Maria (1935–2013) used geometry and mathematics to create artworks that test the limits of sensory perception. In Walter De Maria: Surface Waves, the Bay Area native makes his SFMOMA debut with his first sculpture to enter the museum’s collection, an arresting floor piece known as Large Rod Series: Circle/Rectangle, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 (1986). Consisting of massive, precisely honed polygonal rods polished to a shine so lustrous that they appear liquid, the work can be shown in three distinct configurations, all of which will be presented during the course of the exhibition. In the opening sequence, recordings of De Maria’s Ocean Music (1968) and Cricket Music (1964) will play in the galleries daily, offering an immersive experience of rhythm in sculpture and sound. In Parts 2 and 3, the exhibition expands to include alternative explorations of invisibility in drawings from the 1970s and 1980s.
Header image: Walter De Maria, Large Rod Series: Circle/Rectangle 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 1986; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Phyllis C. Wattis Fund for Major Accessions) and the Dallas Museum of Art (TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Fund); © 2016 Estate of Walter De Maria