Art & Architecture

Second Site

    Preface by
  • Sarah Whiting

A meditation on how environmental change and the passage of time transform the meaning of site-specific art


Nov 30, 2021
5.88 x 7.31 in.
29 color + 5 b/w illus.
Art & Architecture
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In the decades after World War II, artists and designers of the land art movement used the natural landscape to create monumental site-specific artworks. Second Site offers a powerful meditation on how environmental change and the passage of time alter and transform the meanings—and sometimes appearances—of works created to inhabit a specific place.

James Nisbet offers fresh approaches to well-known artworks by Ant Farm, Rebecca Belmore, Nancy Holt, Richard Serra, and Robert Smithson. He also examines the work of less recognized artists such as Agnes Denes, Bonnie Devine, and herman de vries. Nisbet tracks the vicissitudes wrought by climate change and urban development on site-specific artworks, taking readers from the plains of Amarillo, Texas, to a field of volcanic rock in Mexico City, to abandoned quarries in Finland.

Providing vital perspectives on what it means to endure in an ecologically volatile world, Second Site challenges long-held beliefs about the permanency of site-based art, with implications for the understanding and conservation of artistic creation and cultural heritage.

Awards and Recognition

  • Honorable Mention for the Alanna Bondar Memorial Book Prize, Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada