Walter de Maria, 1935–2013

Walter de Maria, Apollo's Ecstasy, 1990

Walter de Maria, sculptor, composer and creator of The Lightning Field has died, the Los Angeles Times reports. De Maria was one of the early proponents of minimalism. The Lightning Field, four hundred stainless steel posts arranged in a calculated grid over an area of 1 mile × 1 km in New Mexico, was realized in 1977. An installation of over twenty bronze poles, titled Apollo's Ecstasy (1990), laid horizontally in parallel on the floor, was the final work of Massimiliano Gioni's The Encyclopedic Palace exhibition at this year's Venice Biennale. Gioni wrote in the biennale's catalogue 'Walter De Maria celebrates the mute, gelid purity of geometry. Like all works by this legendary artist, this abstract sculpture is the result of complex numerological calculations - a self-contained system in which the endless possibilities of the imagination are reduced to an extreme synthesis.'