Environmental Philosophy

Volume 4, Issue 1/2, Spring/Fall 2007

Special Double Issue: Environmental Aesthetics and Ecological Restoration

Leslie Ryan
Pages 95-116

Art + Ecology
Land Reclamation Works of Artists Robert Smithson, Robert Morris, and Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison

Post-industrial landscapes present a challenge to traditional means of aesthetic evaluation. This article examines the work of four artists and their contributions to an aesthetic vocabulary that can support art practices that engage places and systems rather than objects. Art presumes a manipulation of materials and places, a significant point for landscape reclamation which also requires a re-making of a site. The land reclamation projects and proposals of Robert Smithson, Robert Morris, and Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison are guides to an aesthetics that expands to include ethical relationships and responsibility for the well-being of the environment and others.