"Nancy Holt: Trail Markers" at Frieze Masters with Parafin

Early photographic works from the late 1960s by Nancy Holt are currently on view at Frieze Masters in a presentation by Parafin, London. These works will be on view at The Regent's Park, London from 13 – 17 October, 2021.

From Parafin:
Parafin is delighted to return to the Spotlight section (Stand H12) at Frieze Masters with a presentation exploring Nancy Holt’s use of photography in the late 1960s. The presentation focusses in particular on works made during a trip to England and Wales with Robert Smithson in 1969, and includes the major 20-part work Trail Markers (1969). During this journey Holt and Smithson visited fellow artists (Richard Long and Keith Arnatt, for example) and sites resonating with their practices, ranging from ancient ruins and landscaped gardens, to wild natural places. Both artists made important works, rare examples of major American Land artists working in the UK.

Nancy Holt (1938–2014) was a key member of the Earth, Land, and Conceptual art movements and a pioneer of public art, site-specific installation and moving image work. Within Holt’s practice photography was central. Her overriding theme was vision; the phenomena of sight, how we look and how we become conscious of our looking. For Holt the camera was a tool that allowed her to record objects, people and places, and—in a conceptual leap—to record the act of seeing and recording.

Holt’s beginnings as an artist coincided with radical cultural shifts that initiated new ways of making art and, alongside explorations of text and film, she embraced the possibilities that photography offered. For Holt, the camera enabled extended meditations on the changing conditions of place, a passage through space and an extended investigation of site.

The presentation includes important works such as Concrete Visions (1967) and Ruin View (1969) – which use framing devices anticipating Holt's later 'Locators' series and the iconic Sun Tunnels (1973-76). It also explores her use of serial imagery in ‘composite’ works such as Wistman's Wood (1969) and the rarely seen Bar None (1967), as well as multi-part serial works such as Trail Markers (1969). Trail Markers records a walk Holt and Smithson made to Wistman's Wood on Dartmoor. At Wistman's Wood Holt made the first of her 'Buried Poems' (1969-71), which she dedicated to Smithson, and recorded the location. Old Sarum Ruins (1969) combines four views of an ancient earthwork on Salisbury Plain, anticipating both Holt and Smithson's later landscape projects.

‘Nancy Holt: Trail Markers’ at Frieze Masters is presented in association with the Holt/Smithson Foundation.

Further information available on the Parafin website.

Archived News

"Nancy Holt / Inside Outside" at Bildmuseet

We are very pleased to announce the exhibition Nancy Holt / Inside Outside launches this June, produced by Bildmuseet, one of Sweden’s foremost contemporary art venues. The exhibition explores the artist’s rich artistic legacy through a selection of works spanning 1967 to 1992. This is the most ambitious exhibition of her work to date. Perceptions and demarcations of being "inside" and "outside" guide this survey exhibition.

Robert Smithson works in "The Power of Wonder" at Museum unter Tage in Bochum, Germany

Works by Robert Smithson will be included in the group exhibition The Power of Wonder: New Materialisms in Contemporary Art at Museum unter Tage in Bochum, Germany. 

Two artworks that Robert Smithson originally made during his time in Germany in 1969 will be on view in the exhibition: Mirror Displacement: Indoors (1969) and Essen Earth  and Mirrors (for Bernd and Hilla Becher) (1969).

"Second Site" by James Nisbet

Author and art historian James Nisbet has recently written a new book titled Second Site, which explores "how environmental change and the passage of time transform the meaning of site-specific art." Second Site examines the effect of changing conditions on a number of site-specific artworks, including both Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels (1973-76) and Robert Smithson's 

Discussions On "Sound As Sculpture"

A significant selection of audio works by Nancy Holt are currently on view in the group exhibition Sound as Sculpture at The Warehouse Dallas

The Warehouse is hosting a series of discussions on the exhibition Sound As Sculpture, including one upcoming discussion on Nancy Holt's sound works with Lisa Le Feuvre and James Nisbet this Friday, March 18.

Tuesday Texts: Chapter Three

We are delighted to announce that throughout February we will be publishing a third 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.