Walter de Maria (1935–2013) was a sculptor and a leading figure of Land art. Adopting a minimalist approach in his practice, he employed simple forms and industrial materials such as steel, aluminum, and wood, constructing his Land art installations in museums and galleries as well as out in the open. Earth Room, one of the American artist’s most famous works, is an enclosed room with black soil spread across its floor, originally created in 1968 in Munich, then reproduced in 1997 in New York, where it remains to this day. In the 1960s, De Maria was also a musician, playing alongside Lou Reed in The Primitives, the forerunner of The Velvet Underground.
Known for his interactive installations and videos, Pierre Huyghe’s (b. 1962) works have included theatrical puppet shows, staged urban parades and processions, and even amusement parks. Huyghe often experiments with the exhibition format: his project for Documenta 13 involved a wholly new, surreal theme park built over a section of the Karlsaue park, subverting traditional notions of park landscapes and architecture.