Compression Line, 1968
COR-TEN steel, earth
24 x 24 x 204 inches
Laumeier Sculpture Park Collection, anonymous gift

Michael Heizer's Compression Line, 1968, is a hollow, rectangular steel chamber embedded in the earth. The seventeen foot steel frame is pinched at its center point, shaping the land and highlighting the negative space within. Inspired by his father’s work as an archaeologist, providing him with exposure to the field through travels to Bolivia, Peru and Mexico City; Heizer’s sculptures literally take on the form of monumental excavations and earth constructions. An important figure in the Land Art Movement of the 1960’s and 70’s, his tense manipulation of COR-TEN steel to create a crack in the earth, encourages the viewer to think about the complex relationship between humans and the built and natural environments.

Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Play With Care


Michael Heizer was born in Berkeley, California in 1944, and currently lives and works in New York and Nevada. His work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Dia:Beacon, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Fondazione Prada, Milan; Menil Collection, Houston; and many other institutions around the world. Additionally, his permanent site-specific works include Adjacent, Against, Upon, Myrtle Edwards Park, Seattle; Levitated Mass, 90 Madison Avenue, New York; 45°, 90°, 180°, Rice University, Houston; North, East, South, West, Dia:Beacon, New York; Levitated Mass, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.