Walter De Maria

Museum Piece . 1966


Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Nueva York © Walter De Maria . photos: David Heald

Conceived of separately, but now often exhibited together, Cross, Star, and Museum Piece manifest how ancient symbolic configurations have undergone various interpretive transmutations:
the cross, mark of Christianity, has also been discovered on Egyptian tombs; the six-pointed star, sign of Judaism, first appeared on Bronze and Iron Age relics; and the swastika, emblem of Nazism, was once representative of prosperity, regeneration, and goodwill. By titling the swastika Museum Piece, De Maria seems also to have been commenting on the neutralizing effects of the museum environment, in which cultural artifacts, removed from their original contexts, can be reduced to visual equivalences.
Nancy Spector

Cross . 1965–1966

Star . 1972


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