A special presentation in the Lamont Quadrant Gallery, Walter De Maria: Counterpoint is the first presentation in three decades of Walter De Maria’s 1986 work Large Rod Series: Circle/Rectangle, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13. The DMA jointly acquired the work in early 2016 with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, marking the first such collaboration between the two museums. Presented alongside Circle/Rectangle, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 is a masterwork by Doménikos Theotokópoulos, most widely known as El Greco, titled St. Francis Kneeling in Meditation, generously on loan from the Meadows Museum, Dallas. Both De Maria and El Greco share an acute attention to the principles of geometry that inform the basic human understanding of nature. Completing the installation is a programmed recording of Cricket Music, from 1964, one of De Maria’s rare musical compositions.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether you go or not, Counterpoint: Sculpture, Music, and Walter De Maria’s Large Rod Series, is the definitive source on his renowned Large Rod Series, exemplary works that represent the artist’s contribution to the development of Minimalism. Walter De Maria (1935-2013) was a pioneering American artist associated with the Minimal, Conceptual, and Land Art movements. De Maria’s penchant for mathematical patterns and precise measurements can be seen throughout his oeuvre and is particularly evident in these floor-based sculptures produced between 1984 and 1989. Incorporating an analysis of De Maria’s early musical compositions, this book explores a previously unexamined historical precedent in his percussion recordings and provides a new framework in which to understand the series. The inclusion of detailed artist’s notes, archival photographs, and new documentation of the work’s installation provide additional context for these deceptively simple works.