Lisa Le Feuvre and Katarina Pierre
An in-depth exploration of the pathbreaking works of the landmark artist Nancy Holt, to accompany an exhibition at Bildmuseet, Umeå, Sweden.
Nancy Holt: Inside/Outside takes a journey through the artist’s key experiments in visual art presenting works never seen before, commissioning new critical thinking, and amplifying knowledge of an artist whose ideas are fundamental to how we define art today. Over the course of fifty years, Nancy Holt’s rich output spanned concrete poetry, audio, film and video, photography, drawings, room-sized installations, earthworks, and public sculpture. Nancy Holt: Inside/Outside details her unique and significant contributions, situating an important female voice within the narratives of land and conceptual art.
Initiating her art practice in 1966 with concrete poetry, she soon expanded her ideas into the landscape, large-scale installations, audio, and video, and film. Through each medium, she explored how we understand our place in the world by investigating perception, both natural and human systems, and site within and outside of traditional museum contexts.
In the mid-1970s Holt completed her most influential earthwork, Sun Tunnels, an artwork central to the definition of land art. Bringing the stars down to earth, Sun Tunnels focuses attention on the systems of the universe. Holt was equally interested in the built environment as she was natural and celestial landscapes, and from the 1980s she made invisible architectural systems visible in ambitious installations that exposed the inner workings of buildings.
Rigorous documentation of Holt’s work, as well as contributions by key scholars, previously unseen photoworks and drawings, and a revealing, never-before-published “self-interview” by the artist bring her work into far fuller context. Developed in close consultation with Holt/Smithson Foundation, an artist-endowed organization dedicated to preserving and extending the work of Nancy Holt and her husband Robert Smithson, this expansive publication will serve as a major contribution to the critical ongoing research into the art of our time.