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Untitled by Marcos Grigorian stands as proof that Grigorian was doing earthworks long before it was cool.

Grigorian was doing land art before the term land art was even a thing. He was before Robert Smithson, Richard Long, Ana Mendieta, and Andy Goldsworthy and he was incredible. Untitled is part of Grigorian’s series of earthworks in which he used media like soil, sand, mud, and straw to represent village life in Iran, as these were the materials Iranians used to build Adobe-style houses. Because these works are basically made only of dirt, they crack, which changes they way light and shadows look on the piece. It also gives the work texture and a funky-looking form.

These are essentially “two-dimensional reliefs” or as the curator Donna Stein put it, “small capsules of the landscape.” Well said, Donna. This work was created after Grigorian had made a large-scale mural called The Gate of Auschwitz, which comprised of twelve 6 x10 foot canvases about the Holocaust. You can imagine how upsetting working on something as horrifying as the Holocaust would be for even a moment, but to make such a massive mural must have taken a looong time. So afterwards, Grigorian pulled a "Into the Wild" and turned to nature to heal him.

Grigorian was particular about the media of these pieces, but he was more particular about the shape of them. He made sure that each and every one of the pieces in this series was a perfect square, because the square is solid and symbolic of the stability of earth. The square shape has now become an identifying aspect of Grigorian’s work. 



  1. "Marcos Grigorian: Earthworks - Exhibitions - Leila Heller Gallery." Web. 30 Oct. 2018.
  2. "Marcos Grigorian. Untitled. 1963 | Moma." N.p., 2017. Web. 30 Oct. 2018.
  3. Oikonomopoulos, Vassilis. "‘Creation Of The Planet’, Marcos Grigorian, 1963 | Tate." Tate. N.p., 2013. Web. 30 Oct. 2018.