Recently, we had the privilege of working with the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC for the realization of “Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971”. This important exhibit highlights the vision of maverick art patron, collector and gallery owner Virginia Dwan and is currently on view at LACMA until September 10, 2017.
Virginia Dwan was a force in the international art scene at the middle of the last century. Not even the Richter scale can properly measure the impact Dwan made in supporting self-defined “Land Artists” like Carl Andre, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Robert Morris, and Robert Smithson.
Land Art, also known as Earth Art, was a radical new medium which Dwan —a true visionary— backed. The works, often monumental in size, commented on social issues while expanding or rejecting the normal setting of the gallery for the viewing of art. With the earth, sky, and sea as their canvas, the land artists made works no wall could hold.
Our task was to create murals measuring up to an incredible 32’ in length from an original 35mm color negative and panoramic transparency on 120 film. The nature of the work put an extreme demand on both image quality and level of detail —calling for specialized equipment and state-of-the art digital imaging techniques to create file sizes exceeding 1GB for continuously printed murals.
Normally, images of this size would require the observer to stand a certain number of feet away in order to view the image properly. We wanted to give the observer the ability to walk into the works and experience their awe-inspiring immensity without having the overall effect destroyed by perceiving the pixels often found in murals of this size today. Our goal to provide the analog quality of film grain, albeit via a digital image, also serves as a reminder of Dwan’s fundamental belief in the Land Artists. In large part, it was her faith in their vision that allows us to enjoy these groundbreaking works without question today.