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Geoglyphs Spanning the Globe: Andrew Rogers
by Ken Scarlett


Andrew Rogers has an impressive string of achievements to his name, any one of which could secure a listing in the annals of art history and in the Guinness Book of Records. Over a period of 11 years, he has created artworks on a vast scale around the world: 40 works in all, in 12 countries. These astonishing structures date to 1999, when Rogers was invited to produce a sculpture for the Central Arava Regional Council in Israel. Realizing that the immensity of the desert and the all-enveloping sphere of the sky would dwarf a traditional sculptural object, he came up with the radical idea of creating a gigantic work of water-washed stones.
With an Israeli construction contractor, a Bedouin foreman, three architecture students, Arab stonemasons, and endless trucks of limestone rocks, he created his first geoglyph, To Life, in March 1999. Consisting of the Hebrew characters for “to life”—a salutation frequently used in Jewish celebrations—its sweeping, undulating forms are exciting to walk around, strong enough to stand on, and large enough to be seen from a great distance. Rogers later produced two more geoglyphs in the Israeli desert—Rhythms of Life (2001), based on one of his abstract sculptures, and Slice (2003), which depicts a section through the spiraling interior of a locally found sea shell, a reference to the fact that the area had once been under water.

Ancient Language, 2004.
Volcanic rock and guano, 9 x 262 ft. Installed in the Atacama Desert, Chile.


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