(AMERICAN, 1940-2017)

Face of the Earth #3, 1988
natural concrete, gravel, reinforced rods, sod, earth
58 x 394 x 342 inches
Laumeier Sculpture Park Collection, gift of the artist

Vito Acconci’s dislocations of familiar things into unlikely contexts jolts the viewer from passive looking into a more questioning state of mind. Face of the Earth #3 rejects the pedestal tradition by putting a jack-o-lantern face into the earth. Instead of looking up at it, the viewer steps down into its eyes, nose and mouth and can sit in the skull-like cavities. It proposes that a bland, easy-to-understand, ingratiating face is what the public says it wants in public art.

Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Play With Care


Vito Acconci was born in the Bronx in 1940. He received his B.A. from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Maine, in 1962 and his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1964. Acconci has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; the Brooklyn Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His work has also been shown in numerous group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale in 1976; the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; Documenta V in 1972, Documenta VI in 1977 and Documenta VII in 1982, Kassel, Germany; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.