John Cliett

John Cliett is a New York-based photographer perhaps best known for his work with Walter de Maria on The Lightning Field. Commissioned by the artist and the Dia Art Foundation in New York, Cliett produced a series of more than 100 photographs of de Maria’s land art creation. Made in 1978 and 1979, Cliett’s images remain the most reproduced and striking documentation of de Maria’s monumental installation. He explained, “My goal was a very competitive one, which was to make pictures that were so astounding that nobody would ever be able to make a better one. That the pictures would overwhelm the work: that was my goal.” One of the images he produced from The Lightening Field was included in the 2016 exhibition (Infra) Structure at Lannan Foundation.

John Cliett elsewhere on

(INFRA) STRUCTURE: complex, below and further on, (Art)


Field Before The Storm Walter De Marias John Cliett

“Field before the Storm” Walter de Maria’s Lightening Field, 1977

Size: 25 x 44 inches
Medium: Chromogenic color print

Current Lannan Art Collection

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