Art That Knows Its Place

A new survey of site specific creation ties recent work to cave paintings

You may think of site-specific as a term the art world had to coin not long ago to describe things like Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, a vast coil of crushed boulders at the edge of the Great Salt Lake. It's site-specific not only because Smithson designed it for that spot but also because, really, who's going to move 6,500 tons of rock to another location? But the 500 or so works in Art & Place: Site-Specific Art of the Americas (Phaidon; 373 pages), a coffee-table book so hefty that it's practically site-specific itself, are here to remind you that the term...

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