Skip to content
Grist home
Support nonprofit news

Articles by Tristan Ahtone

Tristan Ahtone is a member of the Kiowa Tribe and serves as Editor at Large.

Featured Article

About three hours north of Las Vegas, Nevada, is the largest piece of contemporary art on the planet. The mile-and-a-half by half-mile-wide sculpture, City, by land artist Michael Heizer is a “vast complex of shaped mounds and depressions made of compacted dirt, rock, and concrete,” according to the work’s website with “high-low allusions to Mayan and Incan sites and interstate highways,” writes the New York Times. Only six visitors are allowed to City every day, and visitation for 2022 has already closed.

Fifty years in the making, Heizer’s megasculpture City, which officially opened last week, is known as land art – an art movement that emerged internationally in the 1960s and 70s and is notable for developing large-scale, sculpted earthwork projects directly on the landscape. They are designed to exist outside of museums and galleries and Heizer is one of the heavyweights of the movement. His 1969 piece Double Negative, in which 240,000 tons of rock were blasted from a Nevada mesa, on land that was once home to the Southern Paiute, to create a trench, is foundational. But you may be more familiar with Robert Smithson’s Spir... Read more

All Articles