"Instead of using a paintbrush to make his art, Robert Morris would like to use a bulldozer" Robert Smithson from Land and Environmental Art
Reading yesterday's post on Environmental Art I was reminded of a classic text from Phaidon Press, Land and Environmental Art first published in 1998. I have the 2005 paperback edition, but the recent 2010 edition came out last month and I assume it has been amended to include more recent works.
If you are not familiar with Phaidon's Themes & Movements Series, they are phenomenal resources that include new essays by relevant curators, authors & artists, a comprehensive image collection, and a collection of seminal texts relating to the history of the subject. What I particularly like about this text is that, since the nature of the work is impermanence, this book is able to capture original feeling evoked by the work- while still respecting the fact that you are not witnessing it in person. The collected texts not only reflect the work of the artists, but the social & cultural trends that inspired the West's relationship with the land.
Since our relationship with the land is continually changing, and our respect for nature grows, design, architecture and art are working with the forces of nature, instead of against. And that is truly modern.