When contemplating environmental art, it is important to understand that the piece’s meaning does not always center around the environment, whether it is natural or manmade. Sometimes, as seen in many pieces by Andy Goldsworthy and Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty”, a piece is completely determined by the environment which surrounds it, but in other instances, such as Michael Heizer’s “Complex One”, a piece is created for a strictly artistic purpose. However, it is also impossible for a piece to be considered environmental art if the environment, natural or otherwise, is completely ignored. Therefore, environmental art is the transformation of an environment with the use of artistic elements to create a piece that communicates an artist’s ideas or feelings that are often spiritual, symbolic, or reminiscent of past experiences.

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