Partially Buried: Land-Based Art in Ohio, 1970 to Now

Columbus Museum of Art

May 8–November 28, 2021
In 1970, artist Robert Smithson created Partially Buried Woodshed on the campus of Kent State University, covering an abandoned woodshed with soil until its central beam cracked. Unsettling traditional notions of landscape and environmental art, Smithson’s project also addressed a connection to Ohio’s indigenous earthworks, many of which were destroyed—or willfully overlooked—by white settlers during the Frontier Era.
In the decades since, artists have continued to approach Ohio’s landscape as a site and a subject, challenging the conventional representations of the state’s history and cultural legacy. Gathering works from a diverse group of artists, Partially Buried: Land-Based Art in Ohio, 1970 to Now grapples with the state’s history as a former frontier territory, confronting unanswered questions around land use, interpretation, preservation, and representation. The exhibition unearths a legacy of radical imagination through artists’ interventions in the Ohio landscape.
Partially Buried: Land-Based Art in Ohio, 1970 to Now is curated by Anna Talarico, MA candidate in Contemporary Art and Curatorial Practice at The Ohio State University. The exhibition represents a collaborative partnership between the Columbus Museum of Art and The Ohio State University’s Department of History of Art and is sponsored by a Community Engagement Grant from The College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University as part of the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme. Additional funding is provided by an Alumni Grant for Graduate Research and Scholarship from The Graduate School at The Ohio State University.
All installation images are by Calista Lyon.



Image credit: Dawoud Bey American, born 1953, Untitled #12 (The Marsh) from the series Night Coming Tenderly, Black 2017 (detail), Gelatin silver print mounted to museum board and Dibond, Museum Purchase with funds provided by The Contemporaries, in memory of Sylvia Goldberg and Donald Dick

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