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Shapeshifting
By GREG COOK  |  December 30, 2011

Sightlines
Nancy Holt. Sun Tunnels, 1973-76 | Lucin, Utah | © Photograph by Laurence Belingard, 1999

NANCY HOLT: SIGHTLINES | Tufts University Art Gallery | January 19–April 1 | After graduating from Tufts in 1960, Holt moved to New York and became one of the pioneers — along with her husband Robert Smithson — of the earth-art movement. The men involved constructed monumental works — from Michael Heizer's City of massive, forbidding, minimalist ziggurats to Smithson's rocky SpiralJetty in Utah's Great Salt Lake. Holt has aimed to make similarly cosmic art via less intrusive means. Here some 40 videos, photos, and drawings from 1966 to '80 document her art during the period in which she made her most iconic work, Sun Tunnels — four concrete pipes aligned in a Utah desert like a prefab Stonehenge to frame solstices and constellations. "I wanted," she said, "to bring the vast space of the desert back to human scale."

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