Walter De Maria

A Computer Which Will Solve Every Problem in the World / 3-12 Polygon

20 May - 18 Sept 2011

De Pont has for the second time received, on loan, a special work of art from Rotterdam's Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen: Walter De Maria, A Computer Which Will Solve Every Problem in the World / 3-12 Polygon, 1984. The work was first exhibited in De Pont in 2005-2006.

The American artist Walter De Maria (1935) made this impressive floor sculpture specially for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. In a strictly ordered, diagonal placement, seventy-five stainless stell rods lie on the floor. The sculpture begins with a row of three rods, triangular in cross-section, and ends in a row of twelve nearly round, dodecagonal (twelve-sided) rods measuring one meter in length. This length determines the entire scale of the work: the parallel rows are consistently placed one meter from each other, the same distance with which the successive rows are staggered on one side. Despite this distinctly serial construction, the sculpture possesses great visual complexity, and every change of perspective gives rise to a new image.

The work of Walter De Maria is often related to Minimal Art. He uses materials with a streamlined surface or industrial products in geometric or serial configurations. A number of his works have been carried out in landscape and are thereby considered Land Art. For a brief period, De Maria was also occupied with film and music; in 1965 he had been the drummer for the New York pop group The Velvet Underground. His best-known work remains The Lightning Field (1977), located in the desert of New Mexico. This is comprised of 400 stainless steel poles that stand upright in a large rectangular formation. The area is known for its sudden thunderstorms, and lightning frequently strikes the steel poles of the artwork.