Top 25 Land art artists who changed its history

A kind of art called land art, also referred to as earth art or environmental art, first appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, and Walter De Maria are some of the best-known practitioners of land art. These artists were interested in producing works that reacted with the surrounding environment and frequently used materials found there.

Large-scale land art works were frequently made in distant areas, such as mountains or deserts. These pieces, which frequently weren’t for sale and were meant to be seen in person rather than in a gallery or museum, were created to question the conventional idea of art as a commodity.

Land art pieces are distinguished by the use of organic elements like rocks, soil, and plants. Instead of pushing their ideas on the environment, these artists aimed to produce works that were in tune with it. In addition, they had a keen interest in topics like ecology, sustainability, and the interaction of humans with nature.

1. Andy Goldsworthy

Land art artists

Born: 26 July 1956 (age 66 years), Cheshire, United Kingdom

Children: Holly Goldsworthy, James Goldsworthy, Anna Goldsworthy, Thomas Goldsworthy

  • Andy Goldsworthy is an English photographer, sculptor, and environmentalist.
  • He was raised in his Harrogate part of Leeds.
  • As young as 13, he was employed at farms in the role of a laborer.
  • He has compared the monotonous farming tasks’ routine to the repetitive nature of creating the sculpture.
  • After graduating from college, Goldsworthy stayed in Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Cumbria.


2. Robert Smithson

Land art artists

Born: 2 January 1938, Passaic, New Jersey, United States

Died: 20 July 1973, Amarillo, Texas, United States

Influenced: Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Serra, Peter Campus, Petri Kaverma

Structures: Spiral Jetty

  • Robert Smithson was an American artist who was famous for his sculpture and land art.
  • Its work is shown in museums and galleries and is included in public collections.
  • He was among the pioneers of the land art movement, best known for his Spiral Jetty (1970).
  • Smithson was born in Passaic, New Jersey, and grew up in Rutherford until he reached the age of nine years old.
  • He took classes in drawing and painting during his time in New York City at the Art Students League of New York between 1954 and 1956.


3. Michael Heizer

Land art artists

Born: 4 November 1944 (age 77 years), Berkeley, California, United States

Spouse: Mary Shanahan

Parents: Robert Heizer, Nancy Elizabeth Jenkins

Education: San Francisco Art Institute (1963–1964)

  • Michael Heizer is an American artist from the land who is specialized in site-specific and large-scale sculptures.
  • The pioneer of the 20th century’s art of the land or Earthworks movement He is well-known for his environmental sculptures and sculptures built using earth-moving machinery, which he started creating within his native American West in 1967.
  • He resides and works in Hiko, Nevada, and New York City.
  • In the mid-sixties, Heizer left New York City for Nevada and the deserts in California and Nevada in the late 1960s and began to create the first “negative” works of art.
  • Heizer has continued to work on his investigation of the dynamic between negative and positive space.


4. Richard Long

Land art artists

Born: 2 June 1945 (age 77 years), Bristol, United Kingdom

Spouse: Denny Long

Children: Tamsin Costigan

Movies: Criss Cross

Awards: Turner Prize

Nominations: Turner Prize

  • Sir Richard Julian Longis was an English artist and sculptor among the land’s most well-known British artists.
  • Long is only one artist who has been selected four times for the Turner Prize.
  • He is employed and lives in Bristol, where he was raised.
  • His work is displayed at the Tate Gallery in Britain, the Tate and Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, and galleries across America, Switzerland, and Australia.
  • Long’s work has expanded the concept of sculpture as a conceptual and performance art element.


5. Walter De Maria

Land art artists

Born: 1 October 1935, Albany, California, United States

Died: 25 July 2013, Los Angeles, California, United States

  • Walter Joseph De Maria was an American artist as a sculptor, illustrator, and composer.
  • De Maria was born in 1935 in Albany, California.
  • He also enjoyed automobiles and sports, and sketching.
  • By 1946, he had joined an association of musicians.
  • De Maria studied history and art at the University of California, Berkeley, between 1953 and 1959.
  • A trained painter, he eventually switched to sculpture and began to experiment with other mediums.


6. Nancy Holt

Land art artists

Born: 5 April 1938, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States

Died: 8 February 2014, New York, New York, United States

Spouse: Robert Smithson (m. 1963–1973)

Movement: Environmental art and land art

  • Nancy Holt was an American artist who is most well-known for her public sculptures, installation art, concrete poetry, and land art.
  • In her professional life, Holt also produced works in different media, such as photography and film, and published books and articles on art.
  • Nancy Holt was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1938.
  • Holt began her artistic journey in photography and later as a filmmaker.
  • Holt is often associated with land art or earthworks.


7. James Turrell

Land art artists

Born: 6 May 1943 (age 79 years), Pasadena, California, United States

Spouse: Kyung-Lim Lee

Awards: MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada, Wolf Prize in Arts – Sculpture

  • James Turrell is an American artist well-known for his Light and Space movement work.
  • Turrell was a MacArthur Fellow in 1984.
  • James Turrell was born in Los Angeles, California.
  • Both of them were Quakers.
  • Turrell earned his pilot’s license when he was just 16 years old.
  • He graduated with a BA in psychology from Pomona College in perceptual psychology in 1965. He also pursued studies in math, geology, and astronomy.
  • He graduated in 1973 and earned a Master of Arts degree from Claremont Graduate University.



8. Nils-Udo

Land art artists

Born: 1937 (age 85 years), Lauf an der Pegnitz, Germany

Books: Art in the landscapes of the Massif central

Periods: Land art, Environmental art

  • Nils Udo is a German artist who hails from Bavaria and has been working on environmental artworks since 1960 when the artist retreated from studios and painting and began working with and within the natural world.
  • In the 1960s, he began his career as a painter working on traditional painterly surfaces.
  • In his work, which began to become more fleeting, Udo introduced photography as an element of his art to preserve and share it.
  • Peter Gabriel contacted Nils Udo to design an installation for the cover of the new Album OVO.


9. Andrew Rogers

Land art artists

Born: 1947 (age 75 years)

Period: Land art

  • Andrew Rogers is a contemporary sculptor from Australia; his work is seen in a variety of parks and buildings across the globe.
  • The project’s name, “Rhythms of Life “Rhythms of Living,” is inspired by Rogers and his early bronze sculptures.
  • Geoglyphs of monumental significance have been created since 1998 and form the chain of 51 geoglyphs on earth accessible from space.


10. Richard Shilling

Land art artists

Born: 1973 (age 49 years), Kent, United Kingdom

Nationality: British

  • Richard Shilling is a British photographer and artist working in land art.
  • Shilling is famous for his changing and temporary art pieces made from natural materials and natural environments outdoors.
  • He’s self-taught and works by intuition, hoping to become more comfortable and immersed in the world around him.
  • The shilling was born in Kent, UK. He spent his childhood there, working and studying in Kent and then moving to Lancashire in 2005.
  • The inspiration for Shilling came from Andy Goldsworthy, whose work he was initially inspired by and copied before coming up with his style.
  • He is working in the field to make landscape art using only natural materials from the area around the intention of creating them.


11. Jim Denevan

Land art artists

Born: 1961 (age 61 years), Santa Cruz, California, United States

Movies: Outstanding in the Field: The Movie, Art Hard, Zen Garden

  • Jim Denevan is an American artist who works on temporary art on land.
  • Additionally, he is the creator of Outstanding in the field, the traveling series of farm dinners.
  • The love of sand drawing (and artwork on land) was discovered by Jim Denevan while surfing.
  • He saw that the beaches were empty. He felt the pull to fill the void.
  • Jim Denevan’s most recent noteworthy work was commissioned by the clothing label Stussy.
  • Alan Sonfist is a New York City-based American artist who is recognized as a “pioneer” in the field of art and as a “trailblazer” for the Land or Earth Art movement.


12. Alan Sonfist

Land art artists

Born: 1946 (age 76 years), The Bronx, New York, United States

Artworks: Landscape of the Sky, Landscape of the Earth, The Great Beech of the East, Tree Tracing

  • Alan Sonfist is a New York City-based American artist who is recognized as a “pioneer” in the field of art and as the “trailblazer” in the Land or Earth Art movement.
  • The first time he was noticed was the “Time Landscape” located at the intersection of West Houston Street and LaGuardia Place in New York City’s Greenwich Village.
  • His works reaffirm his historical position as an artist and critical initiator of ideas within society.
  • Each of his paintings completely redefines the meaning of sculpture, the person who is the artist, and the way art can function to its audience.”


13. Roy Staab

Land art artists

Born: 1941 (age 81 years), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Nationality: American

Notable work: Chiral Formation, (2012) Wheel of Time (2012) Nature Belle (2006), Flight (2002)

Books: Roy Staab: Four Seasons/Four Corners

  • Roy Frank Staab is an American artist from the United States.
  • Staab was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the United States, on September 9, 1941.
  • He was a student in the 70s and resided throughout the 70s, in Paris in the 1970s, as well as Germany, and traveled throughout Europe.
  • Between 1980 and 1993, Staab was a resident of New York City.


14. Lucien den Arend

Land art artists

Born: 15 December 1943 (age 78 years), Dordrecht, Netherlands

Education: Willem de Kooning Academie

  • Lucien den Arend is an abstract geometric sculptor.
  • Like concrete art, His work isn’t inspired by any object. His sculpture is its uniqueness.
  • Den Arend was born in Dordrecht, Netherlands.
  • In 1953, his family immigrated to his home in the United States, where they were settled in Los Angeles, California.
  • Between 1964 and 1966, he took painting classes and Russian between 1964 and 1966 at California State University, Long Beach.
  • In 1969, he was awarded his first order for a sculpture for the environment.


15. David Nash

Land art artists

Born: 14 November 1945 (age 76 years), Esher, United Kingdom

Education: Brighton College, Kingston University Penrhyn Road Campus, Chelsea College of Art & Design

  • David John Nashis is a British artist who is based within Blaenau Ffestiniog.
  • Nash has worked worldwide with trees, wood, and the natural environment.
  • He began to study the different types of wood and realized he was not a fan of the idea of planting wood in rows.
  • Nash was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1999.
  • Kew Gardens currently has an active exhibition launched at the end of June.
  • David Nash is known for working with cutting and shaping trees.


16. Milton Becerra

Land art artists

Born: 10 August 1951 (age 71 years), Táchira, Venezuela

  • Milton Becerra is a Venezuelan artist who was the first to pioneer land art in Venezuela during the 1970s.
  • His graduation was from Cristobal Rojas School of Arts. Cristobal Rojas school of arts (1972) in the Jesus Soto promotion.
  • He was a part of his first exhibition collective when the artist was still in school.
  • Three years after that, Milton Becerra presented at the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art his work “Programmed Modules,” where he discussed his worries about landscape intervention through photography.
  • Born in London, The European Land Art movement had distinct concerns from the ones in Latin America.


17. Junichi Kakizaki

Land art artists

Born: 4 January 1971 (age 51 years), Chikuma, Nagano, Japan

Books: NEW LIFE – Quickening from the Cradle, METAPHOR

Children: Memi Kakizaki

  • Junichi Kakizaki is a Japanese artist and sculptor. She is also a floral artist and nature art artist. Environmental artist and land art artist.
  • He regularly exhibits both in Japan and around the world.
  • Since 1992, he’s focused on scenography in particular.
  • He introduced a floral representation of modern art.
  • Kakizaki is a native of Nagano, Japan, and has been a florist since 1990.


18. John Pfahl

Land art artists

Born: 17 February 1939, New York, New York, United States

Died: 15 April 2020, Buffalo, New York, United States

Period: Land art

Education: Syracuse University

  • John Pfahl was an American photographer from the United States.
  • Pfahl was born in New York City and grew up in Wanaque, New Jersey.


19. Harvey Fite

Land art artists

Born: 25 December 1903, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Died: 9 May 1976, Opus 40, New York, United States

Movies: Opus 40: A Life in Stone

  • Harvey Fite was an early American artist, sculptor, and earth artist
  • Fite is also credited with his role in establishing his fine art program within Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
  • When he was a teenager, he was enrolled in evening courses on law for over three years before deciding not to pursue law as a profession.
  • He was part of a touring troupe of actors. He later relocated to Woodstock and appeared in a local theatre.
  • He was a river-runner at his Maverick art colony outside Woodstock, New York.


20. Betty Beaumont

Land art artists

Born: 8 January 1946 (age 76 years), Toronto, Canada

Education: University of California, Berkeley

  • Betty Beaumont is a Canadian-American conceptual and site-specific art installation, sculptor, and photographer.
  • She is an internationally acclaimed artist who has explored multidisciplinary media and interweaving economic, social, environmental, political, and architectural.
  • Beaumont’s varied collection of work challenges global social consciousness and environmental and socio-economic practices.
  • Beaumont relocated with her family to Los Angeles at an early age in Toronto, Ontario.


21. Felipe Dulzaides

Land art artists

Born: 23 February 1965 (age 57 years), Cuba

Albums: Recordar Es Vivir (Remasterizado)

  • Felipe Dulzaides is Cuban-born American modern artist.
  • His work is based on installation photographs drawing, video, sculpture, and performance.
  • Two cities that form the basis of his writings include San Francisco, California, and Havana, Cuba.
  • Felipe Dulzaides was born in Havana at the beginning of the Cuban revolution, filled with optimism and hope.
  • His father played a crucial role in the formation of the jazz genre in Cuba.
  • After spending a few months traveling through Italy and Spain, he moved to Miami.


22. Dalziel and Scullion

Land art artists

  • Dalziel and Scullion is a collaboration between Scottish artists from Scotland. Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion have collaborated since 1993.
  • Matthew Dalziel was born in Irvine, Scotland, in 1957.
  • Matthew completed his education by obtaining his Post Graduate diploma jointly in Fine Art Photography and Sculpture at the Glasgow School of Art. He was given a high quality in both subjects.
  • Louise Scullion was born in Helensburgh, Scotland, in 1966.
  • She was a Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art in the Environmental Art Department, graduating in 1988 with first-class distinction.


23. Gabriella Porpora

Land art artists

Born: 22 June 1942 (age 80 years), Rome, Italy

  • Gabriella Porpora is an Italian multimedia artist who uses paint, plexiglass, and wood.
  • Porpora is a native of Rome to a Roman mom and Neapolitan father. She co-founded, along with 12 other artists Gruppo 12. Gruppo 12. art movement.
  • Her art can be used in the avant-garde art movements.
  • Her work is experimental and often innovative.


24. Elisabeth Wierzbicka

Land art artists

Born: 28 September 1964 (age 57 years), Kraków, Poland

Education: Jagiellonian University

  • John Kenneth Melvin is a contemporary American-born multidisciplinary artist who creates eco-art worldwide.
  • He believes that Public Art has the capacity to change the way society is viewed.
  • He has designed public art installations over the last 15 years.


25. John K. Melvin

Land art artists

Born: 9 May 1976 (age 46 years)

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