Levitated Mass by artist Michael Heizer is composed of a 456-foot-long slot carved into the earth, over which is placed a 340-ton monolithic granite boulder. As with other works by the artist, such as Double Negative (1969), the monumental negative form is key to the experience of the artwork. Heizer conceived of the artwork in 1968, but discovered an appropriate boulder, which is one component of the greater artwork, only decades later, in Riverside, California. At 340 tons, the boulder is one of the largest monoliths moved since ancient times. Taken whole, Levitated Mass speaks to the expanse of art history, from ancient traditions of creating artworks from monolithic stone, to modern forms of abstract geometries and cutting-edge feats of engineering.
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