Installation art may be located in museums, galleries, outdoors, or other places. Size, structure, and materials can vary. It may be temporary or permanent. Some may be site-specific. Buildings, art monuments, and public sculptures can also be considered installation art.
As a result of artists trying to break away from the restrictions of gallery space in the late 1960s and 1970s, some installation art was specifically built in nature and with natural materials. This art is known as Environmental art, Land art, Earth art, or Earthworks. An example is Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” (1977).
Very early precursors of contemporary installation art include Stonehenge in England and the Mississippian Mounds in the United States created by the American Indians in the 13th century in places such as Oklahoma, Alabama, northern Georgia, and Illinois.
Marcel Duchamp’s Ready-mades such as his “Bicycle Wheel” (1913) and “1,200 Bags of Coal” (1938) can also be seen as forerunners of more contemporary installation art as the pieces allowed viewers to make contact with them as well as see and experience them from different angles.
More recent installation art includes Claes Oldenburg’s
“Clothespin” (1976) in Philadelphia, “Typewriter Eraser” (1999) in Seattle, and “Bedroom Ensemble” (1963) in Canada; Anish Kapoor’s “Marsyas”(2002) created for the London’s Tate Museum; Walter De Maria’s “Lightning Field” (1977) in southwestern New Mexico; Christo’s and Jeanne-Claude’s “The Gates” (2005) in New York City’s Central Park; Rachel Whiteread’s “House” (1993-94) in East London; and Andy Goldsworthy’s “Midsummer Snowballs” (2000) placed in different areas of London.
Click on the bookcover (affiliate link) at the beginning of this blog to find out more about Goldsworthy's gigantic snowballs.
For more examples, check out one of my earlier blog postings.
And many thanks to Coursera's "Introduction to Art: Concepts & Techniques" with instructor Anna Divinsky. I loved this class and it's fun sharing what I learned in my blog posts with you.