In the mid to late 1960s young artists on both sides of the Atlantic turned away from the enclosed space of the gallery and went out into the landscape, to make a new type of art. Land Art, or as it has been alternatively described, Earth Art, Earthworks or Environmental Art, while it encompasses a wide range of practices and includes elements of minimalism, photography, performance, sculpture and conceptual art, can nevertheless be identified as an important global movement. There is currently no single volume that offers an overview of the many international manifestations of Land Art, or the philosophical, geographical and cultural contexts from which it arose.
Many histories of Land Art begin with the early, American masters of the movement: Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer and Walter De Maria. While making a thorough study of these figures, Tufnell also explores the contribution of many important European figures from the same period whose work, though more subtle and less monumental in scale, made an equally powerful contribution to the story of Land Art.