45°, 90°, 180°, 1984
Granite monoliths and concrete
Commissioned by Alice Pratt Brown in honor of George R. Brown (’20)
Hard Edge Etchings, 2016
Shaped-Plate Etchings with Aquatint
Maxfield Hall – Second Floor
Made possible by Rice University’s percent-for-art program
Michael Heizer, a pioneer of Land Art, is known for site-specific sculptures and environmental interventions that illustrate his sustained exploration of the dialogue between positive and negative space. Inviting viewers to contemplate their relationship to space through geometry and natural materials, Heizer’s unconventional approach has made him one of the foremost American artists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
A massive triptych of granite monoliths by Heizer, 45°, 90°, 180° was the first major commission of public art on the Rice University campus in 1984. Initiated and overseen by noted arts patron Alice Pratt Brown, and later dedicated in honor of her husband and philanthropist George R. Brown after his death in 1983, Heizer’s project was selected for its innovative and exceptional engineering difficulty. Three pink granite slabs, each weighing several tons, are positioned at three basic degree measurements used in engineering, each resting on giant concrete plinths designed by the artist.