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Despite their common interest in landscape, artists, writers, planners, landscape architects, and geographers can never share the same definition of the term, nor will they always reach a full agreement within their own domain. Landscape serves a different purpose for each group, and each profession or discipline is unique in terms of its focus, objectives, scales of analysis, epistemologies, and methodologies. Nevertheless, each would benefit immensely from understanding the others’ conception of landscape.

Eugene J. Palka, Coming to grips with the concept of landscape (1995)

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George Hargreaves, Byxbee Park (1988)

In a Smithson sculpture like Aslphalt Rundown (1969), in which  truckload of he viscous material was poured down the gullied slope of a quarry near Rome, Hargreaves saw the expression of this contemporary conception of landscape. Although far from beautiful in any familiar sense, Hargreaves found such work deeply compelling for the way it brought time, gravity, erosion, human commerce, and the physical properties of matter all into play. ‘For the first time,’ Hargreaves recalled, “I understood that designed landscapes could be extraordinarily meaningful. The Smithson works reintroduced the concept of landscape as idea- something lost in the pursuit of the functional landscape- and opened a door to a world not yet fully explored and till expanding.

John Beardsley, Entropy and the New Landscapes. (1996).

Robert Smithson, Asphalt Rundown, 1969 (Roma) (2)

Robert Smithson, Asphalt Rundown (1969)

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