"Groundswell: Women of Land Art" opens at the Nasher Sculpture Center

This weekend the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas launches the exhibition Groundswell: Women of Land Art.  The exhibition features a number of significant works by Nancy Holt, including the first posthumous presentation of Pipeline (1986).

Holt created the System Work Pipeline in response to time spent in Alaska observing the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in 1986 at the invitation of the Visual Arts Center of Alaska. The installation consists of steel duct—meant to evoke the massive pipeline that winds its way through the Alaskan landscape—which here originates outside the front entrance to the Nasher Sculpture Center, snakes through the main entrance gallery, and ultimately terminates in the outdoor sculpture garden. One section of Pipeline drips oil that forms a dark reflective pool, reminding us, as Holt writes, "more frequently than most people realize, breakdowns occur—pipes crack or rust out, oil spills."

In addition to Pipeline, there are several other Holt works on view in Groundswell which illustrates her continued engagement with Land art throughout her life, including previously unexhibited drawings related to Sun Tunnels (1973-76), a scale model for Sun Tunnels, the film Sun Tunnels (1978), and Locator P.S.1 (1980). On view in the downstairs galleries are drawings that relate to Holt's later public projects, including Sky Mound (1984—) and Dark Star Park (1979-84).

Curated by Nasher Associate Curator Dr. Leigh A. Arnold and organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center, Groundswell: Women of Land Art is on view from September 23, 2023 through January 7, 2024. Learn more about the exhibition here.

Nancy Holt, Pipeline [outdoor view] (1986)

Visual Arts Center of Alaska, Anchorage

Steel, oil

Overall Dimensions: 30 x 32 x 15 ft. (9.1 x 9.8 x 4.6 m) (indoor section); 26 x 15 x 6 ft. (7.9 x 4.6 x 1.8 m) (outdoor section #1); 10 x 31 x 18 ft. (3 x 9.5 x 5.5 m) (outdoor section #2)

Steel duct 1 ft. (30.5 cm) diameter

Archived News

Holt and Smithson in the Press: October 2023

From the Ground Up: Women Artists of Land Art

by Tom Teicholz

Forbes, October 8, 2023

“Groundswell: Women of Land Art is a milestone exhibition that just opened at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas, and that reassesses and reasserts the importance of a coterie of women in the art historical narrative of works that have been labelled as conceptual, environmental, sculptural, and even as performance.”

2023 Research Fellowship Presentations

Please join us as our 2023 Holt/Smithson Foundation Research Fellows share their research projects, findings, and ideas in progress. Each Fellow will present an online webinar for 30 minutes with a question and answer session to follow. Webinars are free and open to all. Please register in advance through the links below.

You can find more about each fellow's project and past fellows on our Research Fellowship page. 

Chapter Five of Tuesday Texts

We are happy to announce that throughout October we will be publishing a fifth chapter of our Tuesday Text Series as part of our ongoing Scholarly Text Program, which invites thinkers to focus on a single artwork by Holt and/or Smithson.

Every Tuesday we will publish a text to our website that includes images selected by the author, a short bibliography, citation reference, and endnotes pointing to the author’s references.