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Nancy Holt, Outdoor Artist, Dies at 75

Over the years, the Sun Tunnels have attracted pilgrims such as art lovers, latter-day pagans, and target-shooting hunters.
Over the years, the Sun Tunnels have attracted pilgrims such as art lovers, latter-day pagans, and target-shooting hunters.Photos by Christine Baczek/Utah Museum of Fine Arts

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NEW YORK — Nancy Holt, a pioneer in the land-art movement of the 1960s and ’70s and the creator of one of the era’s most poetic works — “Sun Tunnels,” four huge concrete culverts set in the Utah desert to align with the sun on summer and winter solstices — died Feb. 8 in Manhattan. She was 75.

The cause was leukemia, representatives of her estate said.

Ms. Holt, who lived and worked for many years in Galisteo, N.M., was one of the few women to pursue monumental sculpture in the American West, a place whose wide-open spaces drew a generation of restless artists such as Michael Heizer, Walter De Maria, James Turrell, and Robert Smithson, whom Ms. Holt married in 1963.

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