Today, save for the odd airmiles pilgrimage, we typically look to docu- mentation of massive 1970s Earth art to communicate the ground- shaking power of the great outdoors. But in certain exceptional cases, the experience of hard-encrusted dirt, compacted rock and age-old geological matter can also be had under a roof and within four walls – as long as it’s in the right gallery or studio.

This, in a nutshell, was my takeaway from several encounters with the paintings and sculptures of the Mexican-born, New York-based artist Bosco Sodi. In fact, on my last visit to his studio, a persistent thought took hold. Not since visits to one of Walter De Maria’s Earth Rooms or to certain dioramas in the American Museum of Natural History – the two-storey representation of the Bahamas’s Andros barrier reef, for instance – have manmade constructions impressed themselves on your humble correspondent with such brute force.




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