Walter De Maria, The Lightning Field

Western New Mexico

DeMaria_The Lightning Field_2_1977_Photo John Cliett

Walter De Maria, The Lightning Field, 1977. © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: John Cliett

Overview

The Lightning Field (1977), by the American sculptor Walter De Maria, is a work of Land Art situated in a remote area of the high desert of western New Mexico. It is comprised of 400 polished stainless steel poles installed in a grid array measuring one mile by one kilometer. The poles -- two inches in diameter and averaging 20 feet and 7½ inches in height -- are spaced 220 feet apart and have solid pointed tips that define a horizontal plane. A sculpture to be walked in as well as viewed, The Lightning Field is intended to be experienced over an extended period of time. A full experience of The Lightning Field does not depend upon the occurrence of lightning, and visitors are encouraged to spend as much time as possible in the field, especially during sunset and sunrise. In order to provide this opportunity, Dia offers overnight visits during the months of May through October.

Commissioned and maintained by Dia Art Foundation, The Lightning Field is recognized internationally as one of the late-twentieth century's most significant works of art and exemplifies Dia's commitment to the support of art projects whose nature and scale exceed the limits normally available within the traditional museum or gallery.

Dia also maintains two other of De Maria's projects, both located in New York City: The Broken Kilometer (1979) and The New York Earth Room (1977).

Art: The Lightning Field, 1977

Visitor Information

The 2016 visiting season is May 1 through October 31, 2016

Please read all the following information carefully before making your reservation.

A cabin adjacent to The Lightning Field provides shelter and simple meals during your stay. It has three bedrooms (one with a double bed and two with twin beds), two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a common room. Linens are provided. We do not reserve specific bedrooms.

Please note that you may be sharing the cabin with other visitors. We therefore ask that you let us know if you are planning to bring young children and refrain from bringing electronic devices or anything that may disturb other visitors. No more than six visitors per night can be accommodated. Camping is not permitted. Pets are not allowed.

A simple supper is prepared and left for you in the refrigerator and a selection of breakfast items are provided for you to prepare the next morning. If you have any special dietary requirements please plan to bring supplemental food or beverages of your own.

Dia provides transportation to The Lightning Field from Quemado, New Mexico, which is about a 2.5–3 hour drive from Albuquerque. Please arrange to arrive in Quemado no later than 2 pm on the day of your visit and check in at Dia's office in the white two-story building on the north side of the town's main street. It is a 45-minute drive in our vehicle from Quemado to The Lightning Field; you may not take your own vehicle. You will be returned to Quemado at approximately noon the following day.

It is important to arrange your travel plans to meet this schedule since other visitors may have reservations the same day and unscheduled trips cannot be accommodated. If you will be arriving from Arizona, please note that New Mexico time is one hour later than Arizona during the summer months.

To reach Quemado from the Albuquerque airport, take I-25 North to I-40 West and drive approximately 70 miles to Exit 89. Take Rte. 117 South and follow the signs to Quemado (approximately 78 miles). There is no public transportation available between Albuquerque and Quemado.

Located in the high desert at an elevation of 7200 feet, The Lightning Field is situated on a flat plain. Mornings and evenings can be cold; days are usually not warmer than 85 degrees. Rainstorms can cause the ground to be very muddy but in general, the terrain is flat and good for walking. Bring at least one pair of sturdy walking shoes or boots, sunglasses, a sun hat, warm clothing, insect repellant, and a raincoat or windbreaker.

Although lightning storms typically occur in this area from mid-July through August, and may also occur at other times during the visiting season, the probability of lightning during your visit cannot be predicted.

We are now accepting reservations for the 2016 visiting season. Reservations by e-mail only.

Advance reservations for an overnight stay at The Lightning Field are required, and are accepted beginning February 1, 2016 at 12am MST for the current year's visiting season only. Visits by parties of up to six people (one night only) are available from May 1 through October 31, seven days a week. Day visits and visitors without reservations cannot be accommodated. Please click the Reservations tab above for more information.

To make a reservation, please first read the Visitor Information and then contact The Lightning Field office in Corrales, New Mexico, by writing to reservations@lightningfield.org.

May and June: $150 per person
July and August: $250 per person
September and October: $150 per person
Student/child (all months): $100 per person (please enclose a copy of student ID)

The actual cost of maintaining The Lightning Field and accommodating visits greatly exceeds visitor fees. Contributions toward the operating expenses of The Lightning Field are appreciated, and donations beyond the listed rates are tax-deductible.

Once you have secured a date, you will receive an email with instructions for two options to proceed.

Your reservation is confirmed only upon our receipt of your Reservation Form and payment in full at least 48 hours before your visit. We cannot accept payment upon your arrival in Quemado. Please note that since we must rely on advance scheduling, once your reservation is confirmed your payment is not refundable.

The Lightning Field is protected by copyright. In keeping with the artist's wishes, photography of The Lightning Field and the cabin is prohibited. Sets of seven postcards of commissioned, copyrighted images of The Lightning Field and other works by Walter De Maria are available for purchase at Dia's bookshop.

If you need images for educational use, please contact Dia’s Rights and Reproductions department at rights@diaart.org. All photographic images of The Lightning Field are for personal or educational use only and their publication is prohibited without written consent from Dia Art Foundation.

For reservations only, please contact The Lightning Field office in Corrales, New Mexico, by writing to reservations@lightningfield.org. Reservations by e-mail only.

Please direct all other inquiries regarding The Lightning Field to the following:
E-mail: reservations@lightningfield.org
Telephone: 505 898 3335
Post: PO Box 2993, Corrales, NM 87048

Artist

Walter De Maria

Support The Lightning Field

The Lightning Field (1977), by the American sculptor Walter De Maria, is a work of Land Art situated in a remote area of the high desert of western New Mexico. Commissioned and maintained by Dia Art Foundation, The Lightning Field is recognized internationally as one of the late-twentieth century's most significant works of art and exemplifies Dia's commitment to the support of art projects whose nature and scale exceed the limits normally available within the traditional museum or gallery.

The cost of maintaining The Lightning Field and accommodating visits greatly exceeds visitor fees. Contributions toward the operating expenses of The Lightning Field are appreciated, and are fully tax-deductible.

Support The Lightning Field