Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by The Art Newspaper, an editorial partner of CNN Style.
“City,” a vast complex of outdoor structures and landmasses the land artist Michael Heizer began constructing in the desert of Nevada in 1970, will finally begin welcoming public visitors next month. The site’s opening on September 2, more than 50 years after work at the site began, marks the fulfillment of Heizer’s most ambitious and career-defining project.
“City” has been described as quite possibly the largest contemporary artwork on the planet, stretching more than a mile and a half long and half a mile wide, evoking the scale of ancient sites like Native American mounds, Mesoamerican metropolises and Egyptian devotional complexes. It is situated in the remote Basin and Range National Monument in central eastern Nevada, within the ancestral lands of the Nuwu (Southern Paiute) and Newe (Western Shoshoni), around 160 miles north of Las Vegas.
For the first year of public accessibility, only a limited number of visitors will be admitted, with mandatory advanced registration.
Initially funded by Heizer himself, construction of “City” eventually received the support of many influential collectors, institutions and dealers via the formation in 1998 of the Triple Aught Foundation, which will manage and preserve the site for years to come. The foundation – whose board includes Heizer himself, Los Angeles County Museum of Art director and chief executive Michael Govan, Museum of Modern Art director Glenn D. Lowry, collector and Glenstone co-founder Emily Wei Rales and Gagosian senior director Kara Vander Weg – has established an endowment for City with almost $30 million in initial funding.