FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 156 John Hospers, this post includes portion of 6-2-94 letter from Hospers to me blasting Christian Evangelicalism, Part L (Featured artist is Michael Heizer )

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I sent a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers on Evolution to John Hospers in May of 1994 which was the 10th anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s passing and I promptly received a typed two page response from Dr. John Hospers. Dr. Hospers had both read my letter and all the inserts plus listened to the whole sermon and had some very angry responses. If you would like to hear the sermon from Adrian Rogers and read the transcript then refer to my earlier post at this link.  Over the last few weeks I have posted  portions of Dr. Hospers’ letter and portions of the cassette tape that he listened to back in 1994, but today I want  to look at some other comments made on that cassette tape that John Hospers listened to and I will also post a few comments that Dr. Hospers made in that 2 page letter.

John Hospers on His Friendship with Ayn Rand

 

Conversations With Ayn Rand Part 1

by John Hospers

 

At the same time, she was an inspiration to me. It was inspiring to talk with someone to whom ideas so vitally mattered. By presenting intellectual challenges she set my intellectual fires crackling in a new way. And she was largely responsible for renewing my spirits. I never got bored with teaching — I always enjoyed contact with students — but I had become discouraged about its results. A class ends, I seldom hear from the students again, and a new crop comes in with all the same errors and unquestioned prejudices and assumptions as the one before. I suppose this was to be expected, but I was often discouraged by the lack of improvement. Doubtless I could have noticed some if I had been able to follow the members of the class after they had had my courses. And as for changing the world from its ignorance and lethargy, there seemed little hope of this occurring; all the combined efforts of high school and college teachers seemed to do little to prevent wars or create happiness or even ease the human situation very much.

So I was surprised when Ayn said, “Yours is the most important profession in the world.”

I responded, “Important, but not very influential.”

“That’s where you’re wrong,” she said. “You deal in ideas, and ideas rule the world.” (I seldom quote Ayn directly, and do so only when I clearly remember exactly what she said.)

I objected rather lamely that I didn’t see any ideas molding the world, in fact that the world seemed quite indifferent to ideas. But she persisted that it was indeed ideas that ruled the world — and that if good ideas did not come to the fore, bad ones would rule instead. Nature abhors a vacuum, and it is when good ideas are not taught that a Hitler or a Lenin can come in, filling the vacuum, trying to justify the use of force (for example) against entire classes of victims, when even a modest amount of teaching about human rights would have shifted the battle of ideas and perhaps carried the day. She reiterated that it was ideas — specifically the ideas underlying the American Revolution — that had created the greatness of America. Prosperity had been a consequence of the adoption of these ideas; it occurred when physical labor was animated by an economic theory by which the work could be productive.

We came back to the subject many times, and I began to notice a new energy in my teaching, a new bounce in my attitude, as if the intellectual life was not fruitless after all, and as if I might even make a bit of real difference in the world. Not much in the whole scheme of things, to be sure; but later, when ex-students would say to me, “My whole life has been changed by your course,” or “Something you said at the end of your lecture one day years ago changed me forever,” the words not only buoyed me up, but made me aware of a fearsome responsibility. I don’t know whether I ever communicated to Ayn this gradual change in my professional attitude. In a way, she had saved my life. I wondered, much later, whether she ever knew this.

She did not take kindly to any recommended change in her writing, not even a single word. I was strongly in sympathy with this. Even if a word was appropriate in what it meant, it might not fit into the rhythm of the sentence or the idiom of the passage. But there is one occasion on which she gave way to me nonetheless. She showed me the typescript of her forthcoming introduction to Victor Hugo’s novel 1793. I then proceeded to read certain passages of it aloud to her. By this means, I convinced her that some passages were unidiomatic, and that certain words hindered the ambience rather than helping it. She went along with all my recommended changes. “Boy, do you have a feeling for words,” she said glowingly as she made the changes.

She was convinced that on my forthcoming trip to California I should call on her Hollywood producer, Hal Wallis. “He’s a movie producer,” I said; “I would have nothing to say to him. And he’d be about as interested in me as in a hole in the ground.”

Not so, she said. She said I had no idea what an intellectual inferiority complex these people have. “To have a philosopher come to them would be an honor to them,” she insisted.

But I had no idea what I would say if I did go; I would probably stand there with a mouthful of teeth. (And I never did follow her suggestion.) “Well, maybe I could write the script for the movie Atlas Shrugged,” I said, more than half in jest.

But at once she put her foot down, though in good humor. “Nathaniel Branden is going to write the script for Atlas Shrugged,” she said decisively, and that was that.

She reserved her best-chosen curse words for her philosophical arch-enemy, Immanuel Kant. She considered him the ultimate altruist and collectivist. Though not a Kantian, I did not share her extreme view of him. I invited her to read his book on philosophy of law, with its defense of individual rights, and certain sections of hisMetaphysics of Morals in which he discussed duties to oneself. But it was all in vain. She insisted that these were only incidental details, but that the main thrust of Kant’s philosophy was profoundly evil. I did not consider him more altruistic than Christianity, and in some ways less so.

I did get her to acknowledge agreement, I think, with Kant’s Second Categorical Imperative, “Treat every person as an end, not as a means,” even though I tended to believe that the implications of this precept for ethical egoism might be ominous. And I told her that I thought she was also Kantian in her insistence on acting on principle(even though she and he didn’t share the same principles). I even thought that she shared some of his emphasis on universalizability: that if something is wrong for you to do it is also wrong for others (in similar circumstances), and that before acting one should consider the rule implied in one’s actions as it if were to become a universalrule of human conduct. She would praise impartiality of judgment as strongly as any Kantian. Sometimes, when we were discussing another view, such as existentialism, I would twit her, saying “You’re too Kantian to accept that, Ayn,” and she would smile and sometimes incline her head a bit, as if to admit the point before going on with the discussion.

The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that the most fundamental distinction in practical ethics was between individualism and collectivism. Consider the American Civil War, I said. Assuming that it played a decisive role in eliminating slavery, wasn’t the result worth the loss of half a million lives? Yet it may well not have been worth it to the men who were drafted into the army to fight that war. The fact that it “helped the group” (the collective) may not have been much comfort to them.

Or consider the American Revolutionary War. It produced an enormous benefit, the founding of a free America, and was the most nearly bloodless of all major revolutions. Yet was it “worth it” to those who shed their blood fighting in the cause of independence? If you look at the group as a whole, the group was better off because those wars were fought; we’re glad that somebody did it. But if you look at theindividuals, it was a case of some individuals sacrificing their lives so that others could live in freedom and prosperity.

Ayn’s response was that no human life should be sacrificed against that person’s will. If a person believes a cause to be worth it, such as freedom from slavery or oppression, then he may willingly sacrifice his life for that cause; but no one should be forced to do so. The sacrifices must be made voluntarily.

But are you enlisting voluntarily if you do it because you’ll be drafted anyway later? I wondered. Perhaps voluntariness is a matter of degree. And what if the Germans are invading France and the Germans draft all their young men and the French don’t? Then the French would be overrun and perhaps enslaved. To escape this fate, France institutes the draft. But this example didn’t deter Ayn. Then France is overrun, she said. (The principle of voluntariness must not be violated.) And maybe the prospect that this was going to happen would be sufficient to make most Frenchmen voluntarily enlist.

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But then, I suggested, there is another problem: what is meant by “voluntary”?

You think about doing something, you deliberate, then do it. Nobody forces you or pressures you. Let’s take this as a paradigm case of voluntary action. On the other hand, someone with a loaded gun at your back says to you, “Your money or your life,” and you surrender your wallet. This is a case of coercion, and ordinarily we’d say you don’t give up your wallet voluntarily.

OK, now the problems begin. What exactly distinguished these cases? Some say that a voluntary act is one of which one can say that just before it one could have done otherwise. Thus the patellar reflex and other reflex actions are not voluntary; you can’t prevent the response.

But all our everyday actions are by that definition voluntary, including our response to the gunman: we could have, just before surrendering the wallet, decided not to surrender it. That was within our power. (Indeed, some would say, “Under the circumstances, you voluntarily chose to give up your money.”) The result of using thisdefinition is that practically all our acts are voluntary, even the robber example used as a paradigm case of not being voluntary. So, I said, let’s take another criterion for voluntariness. With the gunman you can still choose, but your choices are limited by his actions. (You can choose to give your life rather than your money, whereas without his intervention you would have kept both.) The gunman limits your choices. But so does the employer when he fires an employee, or lays him off because the factory is losing money. The employee’s choices are now more limited, limited by the employer’s actions.

But has the employer coerced him? Some would say yes, though he didn’t threaten the employee’s life as in the gunman case. Others would say no, he only limits the employee’s choices. Indeed, the rainfall that prevents you from going to the picnic also limits your choices as to what to do that day. Our choices are limited hundreds of times a day — limited by a wide variety of conditions, human and non-human. (Ouroptions are never limitless in any case.) So that definition won’t distinguish our two paradigm cases from each other; there is something in both cases to limit our choices.

Let’s try another, I persisted: an act is voluntary if it’s not forced. But now what exactly is the import of the verb “force”? Did he force you to give up your wallet, since you could have said no? Is the child whose parents say to him “Kill your pet dog or we’ll never feed you again” forced to kill his dog? Are you ever 100 percent forced, except when you are physically overpowered and literally can’t do anything else?

But very few acts are forced in this sense. When we say “He forced me to go with him,” we need not mean that he physically overpowered her, but rather that he threatened her or even that he “knew what buttons to push” to get her to do what he wanted. Shall we say in that case that she did his bidding voluntarily? No matter which definition we employ, there are cases that seem to slip between the cracks. Thus, saying “He did it voluntarily” doesn’t convey as clear a piece of information as most people think it does.

I concluded that when people say “He did it voluntarily” they usually have no idea of the complexities of meaning that can be plausibly attached to that word; they have no idea which fork in the road they would choose in deciding which meaning of several to take. They just blurt out the word. And that, I suggested, is what philosophicalanalysis is all about — by suggestion and example (“Would you say this is a case of X? No, then perhaps that would be?” etc.) to draw out the meaning behind the words — to pierce the veil of words so as to get a hold on those meanings. But the words constantly obscure this, often in a bewilderingly complex way. Yet it’s important to keep us from blurting out some quick and easy verbal formula. It’s not easy, andtakes a lot of practice; as Brahms said of his second piano concerto, “It’s not a piece for little girls.”

But there it is, the difficulties are there, not only for “voluntary” but for “free” and “caused” and “responsible” and “intentional” (to take a few from just one area of philosophy). These are especially dense philosophical thickets, which require lots of thankless untangling. Most people haven’t the heart or the will to go through with it.  I fear my little lecture was pretty much lost on Ayn. Her philosophical aspirations lay in an entirely different area. And in time the tension between these approaches to doing philosophy is what probably marked the beginning of the end for us.  — Click here for Part 2 –>

(Originally published in Liberty magazIne, 1987)

When most people talked philosophy with Ayn Rand, the relationship was student to teacher. But with Rand and John Hospers, it was philosopher to philosopher.

Here is a portion of Hospers’ June 2, 1994 letter to me: 

Just because I don’t accept your conclusions, do no infer that I have not given these matters deep and profound thought. Why do you ASSUME that I haven’t (which you do when you say “don’t you think it is time to think about spiritual things… etc..)? Why do you start out being so insulting?

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From Adrian Rogers’ LOVE WORTH FINDING website we find this devotion and some of these points were on the cassette tape that I sent to Dr. John Hospers:

The Decision To Become An Atheist

Why does someone decide to become an atheist? Perhaps they’ve been raised in a home where their parents are atheists. Perhaps they started out in life believing in God, but when they prayed about a situation and didn’t get the answer they wanted—or didn’t get it quickly enough—they said, “Well, there must not be a God after all.” Or they decided the problem of why God allows evil in the world is just too great to overcome.

In his message “No Other Way to Heaven except through Jesus,” Adrian Rogers presents the case for belief in God, the reasons many choose unbelief, and the clear, simple path one can take to know that first, there is a God, and then we can know Him personally.

It’s a comprehensive message, one that cannot be reduced to a short article, so we encourage you to hear it in its entirety on June 6-7, or in the broadcast archives on those dates or afterward at our website, www.lwf.org.

In this article, we take one aspect of that extensive message: looking at the path a person may take when they make the choice to become an atheist.

In Romans 1, Paul says (v. 16-20)

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for itis the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, for therein is the righteousness of God revealed. From faith to faith, as it is written, “the just shall live by faith,” for the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness, because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath showed it unto them, for the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even His eternal power and godhead [and here’s the bottom line], so that they are without excuse.

Every Person Has Some Light

All people have been given have some light about the reality and existence of God. Paul makes that clear.

Imagine that the end of time has come, the time we call “the final judgment.” Standing before the throne are all those who’ve never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as those who did hear and rejected it.

The indictment is given,
For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”

Some say, “Your Honor, we’re not guilty! We never heard the Gospel; we never knew how to be saved. We’re innocent by reason of ignorance.”

Then the Apostle Paul will speak up. He’ll point out, “Your Honor, I will prove they’re not innocent because of ignorance or never had an equal chance. I call two witnesses to testify. Witness number one, take the stand. Give the court your name.”

He says, “My name is Creation.”
“You’re the witness that God exists?”
“Yes. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath showed it unto them, for the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20).

Creation testifies, “The Heavens declare the glory of God” Psalm 19:1.

If you have a creation, you have to have a Creator. The Bible says that the Creator “is clearly seen by the things that are made.” When I see a finely tuned piano, I know someone crafted and tuned it. When I see a watch running with precision, I know someone crafted it. When I see a building put together in symmetry, I say, “There is an architect.” When I see this mighty creation, I say, “Creator.” When I see order and system, I say, “Intelligence.” That’s the reason the Bible says, “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There’s no God’” (Psalm 14:1).

Then Paul will call his second witness.

“My name is Conscience. For when the Gentiles [those who’ve never heard the Gospel], which have not the law,” [Old Testament law], “do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law are a law unto themselves, which show the work of the law written in their hearts; their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.” Romans 2:14.

Two witnesses all people on earth must face: the outward, objective witness of creation and the inward, subjective witness of conscience. “Unto them” is creation, “in them” is conscience. T

Man has a built‑in knowledge of God. God made man to know, love, serve and have fellowship with Him forever. “Christ is that true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9).

Augustine said, “The soul of man is restless until it rests in God.” You cannot get around the two witnesses. Creation and conscience testify that no matter who you are or where you are, every person has some light.
Atheists are not in atheists because of intellectual problems. They’re atheists because of moral problems. It’s not a matter of intelligence.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” Romans 1:22

All of us have a God‑consciousness. It’s not a matter of intellectualism; it’s a matter of morality. “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).

An atheist is someone who is uncomfortable with the existence of God, so he says, “If I can get rid of this idea of God, I can get rid of this uncomfortable feeling.”

But he really doesn’t get rid of it—not down deep. He’s like a man who bought a new boomerang and killed himself trying to throw the old one away. The knowledge that God is just there, and the more you try to get rid of it, the more you know subconsciously God exists, because deep in your heart, conscience speaks.

Light Refused Increases Darkness

There is great danger in refusing the light we’ve been given.

They are without excuse, because when they knew God [by creation and conscience they knew God exists], they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart wasdarkened.”

Darkened.
All mankind has some light. Light refused increases darkness.

You cannot simply take light or truth and put it in your pocket and say, “That’s very interesting, I’ll spend it someday if I need it.” No, when God gives you light, when creation and conscience speak to the heart of any individual anywhere on earth, if they do not glorify God, believe there is a God, and desire to know Him, they do not remain static. They begin to regress. And they lose even the light that they had. Their foolish heart will be darkened.

Watch carefully here. I pray you won’t miss what I’m about to say. In the Bible, the opposite of truth is not error, it is sin. Why does a person refuse truth? Because of the sin in his heart.

For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodlinessand unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18)

The word “hold” literally means to resist the truth; suppress, smother, hold back the truth. How do you hold back the truth? Not in error, but in unrighteousness.

Why Does A Person Not Believe In God?

Belief in God means they have to adjust their lifestyle. On the one hand, on one side is the person’s unrighteous lifestyle. On the other side are creation and conscience.  Creation and conscience tell him there’s a God. His lifestyle says, “If you admit that, you’re going to have to change how you’re living.”

He’s in a quandary between the two. If he turns toward acknowledging God, he turns from that lifestyle; but if he turns away from truth, he’s free to embrace his old lifestyle. So when he says, “I will resist the truth in unrighteousness,” and turns away, he gets farther from the truth, father from the light, into the darkness, and “his foolish heart is darkened.”

Unbelief Is the Baggage That Comes With Sin

This truth is never more graphically illustrated than in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, a most terrifying passage in the Bible. It speaks of the Antichrist who is coming:

Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish because”—note—“they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved.”

Why do they perish?
For this cause God shall send them strong delusion.” (v. 11)

You say, “Hold it, Pastor! God doesn’t send anybody delusion.”  Go back and read verse 11. Why would God send them strong delusion? Verse 11 continues, “That they should believe a lie.”

It’s getting worse, isn’t it? God sends delusion “that they should believe a lie” What is the end result?  “…that they all might be damnedwho believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (v. 12)

There in that last phrase is your key: they had the truth, they saw it, yet they chose to “believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

They heard the truth! They knew the truth! They turned from the truth! They pleasure in their sin! They looked at God, they looked at their sin, and they chose their sin.

God responds, “All right. That’s what you want. You want your sin, and the baggage that comes with it is delusion, a lie, and damnation.”

How does this compute with the verse, “God is not willing that any should perish”?

He is not willing. But He also will not violate a person’s free will. I have often observed,

You are free to choose.
You are not free not to choose.
You are also not free to choose the consequences of your choice.

Again, the problem is not in the head. The problem is in the heart. One of the greatest promises in the Bible is John 7:17. People were wondering, “Who is Jesus Christ?” The Pharisees were testing Him, taunting Him, picking at Him. Jesus responded, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” Then He threw out one of the greatest challenges in the Bible:

If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of Myself,” in other words, “whether I’m just some megalomaniac, some peasant prophet who has a messianic complex, or if I have come from God.”

Do you will to do the will of God? If you do, and if you take up this challenge, then you will know.

 

How can I know the Bible is the Word of God? by Adrian Rogers

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Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

 The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt)

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During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know the Bible is True,” “The Final Judgement,” “Who is Jesus?” and the message by Bill Elliff, “How to get a pure heart.”  I would also send them printed material from the works of Francis Schaeffer and a personal apologetic letter from me addressing some of the issues in their work. My second cassette tape that I sent to both Antony Flew and George Wald was Adrian Rogers’ sermon on evolution and here below you can watch that very sermon on You Tube.   Carl Sagan also took time to correspond with me about a year before he died. 

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

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Adrian Rogers pictured below

I have posted on Adrian Rogers’ messages on Evolution before but here is a complete message on it.

Evolution: Fact of Fiction? By Adrian Rogers

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Featured artist is Michael Heizer

Michael Heizer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Michael Heizer
Born 1944 (age 71–72)
Berkeley, California
Nationality American
Education San Francisco Art Institute
Known for Land art, sculpture

Michael Heizer is a contemporary artist specializing in large-scale sculptures and earth art (or land art). He currently lives and works in Hiko, Nevada.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Michael Heizer was born in Berkeley, California in 1944, the son of the distinguished University of California, Berkeley archaeologist Dr. Robert Heizer. He spent one year of high school in France.[2] He attended the San Francisco Art Institute (1963–64) and moved to New York City (1966), where he found a loft on Mercer Street in SoHo and began producing conventional, small-scale paintings and sculptures….

Work[edit]

In the late 1960s, Heizer left New York City for the deserts of California and Nevada, where he began to produce large-scale works that could not fit into a museum setting and could only possibly be displayed through photographs. In 1967, he completed North, East, South, West 1, which included several holes he dug in the Sierra Nevada, the holes akin to the shapes in his paintings.[2] In 1969, Heizer made the series Primitive dye paintings, in which bright big bags of white lime powder and concentrated aniline dyes were spread over the dry desert landscape, covering large areas that, when viewed from the air, formed amorphous, organic shapes.[2] Later that year, Heizer began to create “negative” sculptures by cutting directly into the earth.[1] Made in 1968, Heizer’s Nine Nevada Depressions series of pieces was located primarily on dry lakes throughout the state, comprising a 520-mile earthwork. Jean Dry Lake, south of Las Vegas, has totally absorbed Heizer’s “Rift 1”, a zig-zag trench dug into the lake surface in 1968, as the first of the Nine Nevada Depressions.[3] Dissipate consisted of five small trenches lined in wood, inserted into the playa at the Black Rock Desert.[4] Isolated Mass/Circumflex, the ninth piece, is a circular loop made in a dry lake bed surface at Massacre Dry Lake, near Vya, Nevada.[5] Heizer displaced 6 tons of earth, making a one-foot-wide trench, 120 feet long, with the loop being 12 feet in diameter. This culminated in the production of Double Negative in 1969 and 1970, a project for which he displaced 240,000 tons of rock in the Nevada desert, cutting two enormous trenches—each one 50-feet-deep and 30-feet-wide and together spanning 1,500 feet—at the eastern edge of Mormon Mesa near Overton, Nevada.[6]

Since then, Heizer has continued his exploration of earthworks. His Adjacent, Against, Upon (1976) juxtaposes three large granite slabs in different relationships to cast concrete forms; the 30-50 ton granite slabs were quarried in the Cascade Mountain Range and transported by barge and train to Myrtle Edwards Park.[7] For “Displaced/Replaced Mass” (1969/1977), later installed outside the Marina del Rey, California, home of Roy and Carol Doumani, he planted four granite boulders of different sizes from the High Sierra into lid-less concrete boxes in the earth so that the tops of the rocks are roughly level with the ground.[8] For a 1982 work at the former IBM Building in New York, Heizer sheared off the top of a large rock and cut grooves into the surface before setting it on supports hidden within a stainless steel structure. Designed as a fountain, the boulder appears to float over running water. He called it Levitated Mass, a title he would use for later works as well.[8] Commissioned by the president of the Ottawa Silica Company, the Effigy Tumuli earthwork in Illinois is composed of five abstract animal earthworks reclaiming the site of an abandoned surface coal mine along the Illinois River; the shapes (1983–85)—a frog, a water strider, a catfish, a turtle, and a snake—reflect the environment of the site, which overlooks the river.

Since the late 1990s, Heizer’s work has focused primarily on City, an enormous complex in the rural desert of Lincoln County, Nevada. His work on the project continues to this day, supported by the Dia Art Foundation through a grant from the Lannan Foundation. In 1970, Heizer hired G. Robert Deiro, a pilot from Las Vegas, to help him find the property.[2] In 1972, he acquired land in Garden Valley, near the border with Nye County, and began work on the first part. He finished Complex One in 1974, working mostly alone, using a paddle-wheel scraper a farmer lent him and following plans drawn up by seismic engineers.[9] While working on the first parts of the project, he gradually acquired three square miles, at $30 an acre; the last parcel was paid off in 1997.[2] City is not yet available to the public.

A campaign to have the Basin and Range area around City designated as a national monument to protect it from development took place, and a group of American museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Museum of Modern Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and the Walker Art Center, have joined together to draw public attention to a petition urging preservation of the area.[10][11] In July 2015, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation (using his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906) creating the Basin and Range National Monument on 704,000 acres in Lincoln and Nye counties, an area including Heizer’s City.[12][13]

Heizer’s latest project, Levitated Mass (2012), was for LACMA. He tried to build it in 1969 with a smaller boulder, but the crane attempting to lift it snapped.[14] It was not until 2005 that he discovered an appropriate boulder, when a routine blast at Stone Valley Quarry in Riverside County, California, produced the piece he had imagined, and the project started coming together.[15] LACMA’s director Michael Govan first visited the site in 1994 as director of Dia:Beacon. Since then, Govan has become Heizer’s greatest ally in the art world, raising $10 million from private donors to realize Levitated Mass and serving as a spokesman for the artist.[8] It took eleven nights, from February 28 to March 10, 2012, to move the 340-ton rock from Jurupa Valley to the museum. The granite boulder (21.5 feet wide and 21.5 feet high) is installed atop a 456-foot-long trench, which allows people to walk under it. The long channel, descending to a depth of 15 feet, is encircled by a lozenge-shaped line of weathering steel embedded in the earth and rusting to a velvety brown. The installation is situated in a field of polished concrete slices, set at a slight angle between the Resnick Pavilion and Sixth Street.[16] Heizer opened the exhibit on June 24, 2012.[17] A feature documentary,[18] also named “Levitated Mass,” was directed and edited by the filmmaker Doug Pray. It details the making of the sculpture as it relates to Heizer’s career, while portraying the boulder’s 105-mile journey through Los Angeles and the public’s reaction to its installation. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2013 [19] and opened theatrically at the Landmark’s Nuart Theater in Los Angeles, CA on September 5, 2014.[20] Heizer’s most recent work is Tangential Circular Negative Line in Mauvoisin, Switzerland, commissioned by Fondation Air&Art directed by Jean Maurice Varone.

Heizer has also produced a number of abstract paintings, and his large-scale sculptures, often inspired by Native American forms, can be found in museums and public spaces worldwide.

Major permanent commissions[edit]

  • Tangential Circular Negative Line (2012), Mauvoisin, Switzerland, an Air&Art Foundation commission directed by Jean Maurice Varone

The Rock installation in LACMA’s backyard

Other works[edit]

Exhibitions[edit]

In 1968, Heizer was included in Earth Works, the influential group show at Virginia Dwan‘s gallery, and then in the Whitney Museum painting annual in 1969, where his contribution was a huge photograph of a dye painting in the desert.[9] For his first one-person show, at the Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich in 1969, he removed 1,000 tons of earth in a conical shape to create Munich Depression. In 1977, he was included in documenta 6, Kassel. Major exhibitions of his work have been staged at institutions such as the Museum Folkwang, Essen (1979), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1984), and Fondazione Prada, Milan (1996).[22]

Homages[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b Michael Heizer National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Michael Kimmelman (December 12, 1999), A Sculptor’s Colossus of the Desert New York Times.
  3. Jump up^ Michael Heizer, “Rift 1” (1968-72) Center for Land Use Interpretation, Los Angeles.
  4. Jump up^ Michael Heizer, Dissipate (1968-72) Center for Land Use Interpretation, Los Angeles.
  5. Jump up^ Michael Heizer, Isolated Mass/Circumflex (#2) (1968-72) Center for Land Use Interpretation, Los Angeles.
  6. Jump up^ Christopher Knight (June 3, 2012), Art review: ‘Ends of the Earth’ brings Land art indoors Los Angeles Times.
  7. Jump up^ Michael Heizer, Adjacent, Against, Upon (1976) Seattle Public Art
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b c Jori Finkel (May 25, 2012), Michael Heizer’s calling is set in stone Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Michael Kimmelman (February 6, 2005), Art’s Last, Lonely Cowboy New York Times.
  10. Jump up^ Tennent, Scott (18 March 2015). “Protect Michael Heizer’s “City””. LACMA. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  11. Jump up^ Burns, Charlotte (18 March 2015). “Museums unite in campaign to save massive land art project”. The Art Newspaper. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  12. Jump up^ Steve Tetreault & Henry Brean, A done deal, Obama to create Basin and Range monument, Las Vegas Review-Journal (July 9, 2015).
  13. Jump up^ Mascaro, Lisa (December 20, 2016). “The artist and the senator: One built a desert masterpiece, the other a Nevada legacy”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  14. Jump up^ Danielle Paquette (June 24, 2012), It’s opening day for Michael Heizer’s ‘Levitated Mass’ at LACMA Los Angeles Times.
  15. Jump up^ Ina Jaffe (June 20, 2012), 340 Tons Of Art: ‘Levitated Mass’ To Rock L.A. NPR.
  16. Jump up^ Christopher Knight (June 22, 2012), Review: LACMA’s new hunk ‘Levitated Mass’ has some substance Los Angeles Times.
  17. Jump up^ Deborah Vankin (September 22, 2011), LACMA set to roll away the stone Los Angeles Times.
  18. Jump up^ The Boulder (Doug Pray/Jamie Patricof)
  19. Jump up^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/levitated-mass-laff-review-573330
  20. Jump up^ BWW Movies News Desk
  21. Jump up^ Christopher Knight, A rock star is born–or is it?, Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2012
  22. Jump up^ Michael Heizer Dia Art Foundation.
  23. Jump up^ Aspen Art Museum, July 4, 2012, exhibition
  24. Jump up^ Observatoire du Land Art, Feb 29 – March 10, 2012, transatlantic action
  25. Jump up^ Greg Kucera Gallery http://www.gregkucera.com/_images/daws/daws_life-on-the-farm-heizer_web.jpg

External links[edit]

Michael Heizer arkin michael heizer dissipate 8 of nine nevada

Land art celebrating the work of michael heizer robert smithson and walter de maria

Early life and education

Michael Heizer Michael Heizer Effigy Tumuli Enviromental Art

Michael Heizer was born in Berkeley, California, in 1944, the son of the distinguished University of California, Berkeley archaeologist Dr. Robert Heizer. He spent a year in high school, in France. He attended the San Francisco Art Institute (1963–64) and moved to New York City (1966), where he found a loft on Mercer Street in SoHo and began producing conventional, small-scale paintings and sculptures.

Work

Michael Heizer 1960 MICHAEL HEIZER COMPLEX CITY Bronzo Reader

In the late 1960s, Heizer left New York City for the deserts of California and Nevada, where he began to produce large-scale works that could not fit into a museum setting, except perhaps in photographs. In 1967, he completed North, East, South, West 1, which included several holes he dug in the Sierra Nevada, the holes akin to the shapes in his paintings. In 1969, Heizer made the series Primitive dye paintings, in which bright big bags of white lime powder and concentrated aniline dyes were spread over the dry desert landscape, covering large areas that, when viewed from the air, formed amorphous, organic shapes. Later that year, Heizer began to create “negative” sculptures by cutting directly into the earth. Made in 1968, Heizer’s Nine Nevada Depressions series of pieces was located primarily on dry lakes throughout the state, comprising a 520-mile earthwork. Jean Dry Lake, south of Las Vegas, has totally absorbed Heizer’s “Rift 1”, a zig-zag trench dug into the lake surface in 1968, as the first of the Nine Nevada Depressions. Dissipate consisted of five small trenches lined in wood, inserted into the playa at the Black Rock Desert. Isolated Mass/Circumflex, the ninth piece, is a circular loop made in a dry lake bed surface at Massacre Dry Lake, near Vya, Nevada. Heizer displaced 6 tons of earth, making a one-foot-wide trench, 120 feet long, with the loop being 12 feet in diameter. This culminated in the production of Double Negative in 1969 and 1970, a project for which he displaced 240,000 tons of rock in the Nevada desert, cutting two enormous trenches—each one 50-feet-deep and 30-feet-wide and together spanning 1,500 feet—at the eastern edge of Mormon Mesa near Overton, Nevada.

Michael Heizer troublemakersthefilmcomwpcontentuploads20140

Since then, Heizer has continued his exploration of earthworks. His Adjacent, Against, Upon (1976) juxtaposes three large granite slabs in different relationships to cast concrete forms; the 30-50 ton granite slabs were quarried in the Cascade Mountain Range and transported by barge and train to Myrtle Edwards Park. For “Displaced/Replaced Mass” (1969/1977), later installed outside the Marina del Rey, California, home of Roy and Carol Doumani, he planted four granite boulders of different sizes from the High Sierra into lid-less concrete boxes in the earth so that the tops of the rocks are roughly level with the ground. For a 1982 work at the former IBM Building in New York, Heizer sheared off the top of a large rock and cut grooves into the surface before setting it on supports hidden within a stainless steel structure. Designed as a fountain, the boulder appears to float over running water. He called it Levitated Mass, a title he would use for later works as well. Commissioned by the president of the Ottawa Silica Company, the Effigy Tumuli earthwork in Illinois is composed of five abstract animal earthworks reclaiming the site of an abandoned surface coal mine along the Illinois River; the shapes (1983–85)—a frog, a water strider, a catfish, a turtle, and a snake—reflect the environment of the site, which overlooks the river.

Michael Heizer Artist Michael Heizer in the Nevada desert for 43 years

Since the late 1990s, Heizer’s work has focused primarily on City, an enormous complex in the rural desert of Lincoln County, Nevada. His work on the project continues to this day, supported by the Dia Art Foundation through a grant from the Lannan Foundation. In 1970, Heizer hired G. Robert Deiro, a pilot from Las Vegas, to help him find the property. In 1972, he acquired land in Garden Valley, near the border with Nye County, and began work on the first part. He finished Complex One in 1974, working mostly alone, using a paddle-wheel scraper a farmer lent him and following plans drawn up by seismic engineers. While working on the first parts of the project, he gradually acquired three square miles, at $30 an acre; the last parcel was paid off in 1997. City is not yet available to the public.

Michael Heizer seeds Michael Heizer Landart artist USA

A campaign to have the Basin and Range area around City designated as a national monument to protect it from development took place, and a group of American museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Museum of Modern Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and the Walker Art Center, have joined together to draw public attention to a petition urging preservation of the area. In July 2015, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation (using his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906) creating the Basin and Range National Monument on 704,000 acres in Lincoln and Nye counties, an area including Heizer’s City.

Heizer’s latest project, Levitated Mass (2012), was for LACMA. He tried to build it in 1969 with a smaller boulder, but the crane attempting to lift it snapped. It was not until 2005 that he discovered an appropriate boulder, when a routine blast at Stone Valley Quarry in Riverside County, California, produced the piece he had imagined, and the project started coming together. LACMA’s director Michael Govan first visited the site in 1994 as director of Dia:Beacon. Since then, Govan has become Heizer’s greatest ally in the art world, raising $10 million from private donors to realize Levitated Mass and serving as a spokesman for the artist. It took eleven nights, from February 28 to March 10, 2012, to move the 340-ton rock from Jurupa Valley to the museum. The granite boulder (21.5 feet wide and 21.5 feet high) is installed atop a 456-foot-long trench, which allows people to walk under it. The long channel, descending to a depth of 15 feet, is encircled by a lozenge-shaped line of weathering steel embedded in the earth and rusting to a velvety brown. The installation is situated in a field of polished concrete slices, set at a slight angle between the Resnick Pavilion and Sixth Street. Heizer opened the exhibit on June 24, 2012. A documentary about the installation process has been made by the filmmaker Doug Pray and premiered at the Landmark’s Nuart Theater in Los Angeles, CA on September 5, 2014. His most recent work is Tangential Circular Negative Line in Mauvoisin, Switzerland, commissioned by Fondation Air&Art directed by Jean Maurice Varone.

Heizer has also produced a number of abstract paintings, and his large-scale sculptures, often inspired by Native American forms, can be found in museums and public spaces worldwide.

Major permanent commissions

 

  • Tangential Circular Negative Line (2012), Mauvoisin, Switzerland, an Air&Art Foundation commission directed by Jean Maurice Varone
  • Levitated Mass (2012), Resnick Pavilion North Lawn at LACMA (Los Angeles, California)
  • 45 Degrees, 90 Degrees, 180 Degrees (1984), Rice University (Houston, Texas)
  • North, East, South, West (1982), 5th and Flower Streets, Los Angeles

 

Other works

 

  • Isolated Mass/Circumflex (#2) (1968–72), Nine Nevada Depressions, Menil Collection (Houston, Texas)
  • Rift # 1 (1968–72; deteriorated), Nine Nevada Depressions, Massacre Dry Lake, Nevada
  • Windows and Matchdrops (1969), seven small rills in the floor in front of the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf entrance, Germany
  • Double Negative (1969–70), located near Overton, Nevada
  • City (1972, unfinished), Lincoln County, Nevada
  • Adjacent, Against, Upon (1976), Myrtle Edwards Park (Seattle, Washington)
  • This Equals That (1980), Michigan State Capitol Complex, Lansing, Michigan
  • North, East, South, West (1967/2002), Dia:Beacon, Beacon, New York

 

Exhibitions

In 1968, Heizer was included in Earth Works, the influential group show at Virginia Dwan’s gallery, and then in the Whitney Museum’s painting annual in 1969, where his contribution was a huge photograph of a dye painting in the desert. For his first one-person show, at the Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, in 1969, he removed 1,000 tons of earth in a conical shape to create Munich Depression. In 1977, he was included in documenta 6, Kassel. Major exhibitions of his work have been staged at institutions such as the Museum Folkwang, Essen (1979), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1984), and Fondazione Prada, Milan (1996).

Homages

 

  • Mungo Thomson, Levitating Mass (2012), Aspen, Colorado.
  • Regis Perray, 340 grammes deplaces… during Levitated Mass by Michael Heizer (2012), Nantes, France.
  • Jack Daws, Life on the Farm (Heizer), 2010

 

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