Michael Heizer’s City Open to the Public
Beginning September 2022, Michael Heizer’s City , a vast land art sculpture in the desert of central Nevada, will be open to the public, on a limited reservation basis. City, which has been in development for more than 50 years (1972–2022), is as uncompromising as the Basin and Range National Monument in Nevada’s high desert. More than a mile and a half long and a half mile wide and nearly the same exact size as the National Mall, City and it is composed of mounds and depressions made of compacted dirt, rock, and concrete, and built in five phases, each containing its own substructures within.
Michael Heizer’s Art Projects
Land art pioneer Michael Heizer has been inspired by the Nevada desert for decades, using the Great Basin’s high desert terrain as an ideal backdrop for his larger-than-life installations. We can’t blame him, knowing how particularly stunning most of Nevada’s basin and range desertscapes are.
Active in the land art movement since the late 1960s, artist Michael Heizer created his first work in southeastern Nevada with Double Negative. This conceptual art piece refers to both the natural and manmade negative spaces Heizer created in the Mojave Desert landscape. After this work was completed, he took the opposite approach just a few years later with his monumental City.
Building Michael Heizer’s Monumental City
Michael Heizer’s monumental work on City began in 1972 in Garden Valley, Nevada—which lies almost directly north of the quiet community of Alamo to the tune of about 60 miles. City, by Michael Heizer, is out in the middle of Nevada’s mighty Great Basin—with Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area to the north, and the Mt. Irish Wilderness to the south. Other than that, it’s wide open in this part of the state and falls within the boundary of Basin and Range National Monument
Despite having worked on this large-scale land art project for nearly 50 years, his work here manages to continue to this day. Like his work at Double Negative, Michael Heizer’s City is designed on a massive scale, spanning a little more than a mile long and a quarter of a mile wide, with some parts of the sculpture standing as tall as 80 feet high. Made from dirt, sand, rocks, and concrete, City was formed in five phases, each containing its own substructures within.
Over nearly 50 years City has cost nearly 25 million dollars to build, funded mainly through the Dia Art Foundation and Lannan Foundation. Though City is surrounded by state and federally-owned land, the chunk of land City is situated on is privately owned by Heizer.
The Triple Aught Foundation has created a $30 million endowment to care for City in perpetuity, and moving forward; it will be overseen by a coalition of major art institutions, including Glenstone Museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the New York Museum of Modern Art.
City Michael Heizer Tickets
A magnificent land art installation more than a half-century in the making, City will open September 2022. Because Heizer fears crowds will dilute the experience, six tickets will be offered per day, and only on some days during certain times of the year. Tickets are $150 per person and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Once visitors arrive in Alamo, NV, they’ll be picked up and allowed to explore City for a few hours, then driven back before dark.
Editor’s Note: The 2022 season has sold out and closed, but please consider applying for tickets beginning Jan 2, 2023. In your query, please include the number of guests in your party (up to 6 people), a preferred reservation date between May 16th and November 9th, 2023, and several alternative reservation dates. Reservations are handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that reservations should not be considered final until you receive confirmation via email.
More than 50 years in the making, Heizer’s life’s work will open beginning Friday, September 2, 2022. In 2022, reservations may be requested between September 2 and November 1, 2022.
Admission is free to residents of Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine Counties in Nevada and $150 to all others. Reservations may be made only by writing to [email protected] and will be answered on a first-come, first-served basis.