environmental art

Environmental Art: The powerful installations of Michael McGillis

Michael-OverlookDetroit based environmental artist Michael McGillis lets each site dictate how he fills the space with his celebrated land art.  Above and below, at the University of Oregon’s Overlook Field School, the decision was glass collected from the site and incandescent lighting.

michael-overlook2It was painted plastic grocery bags tucked into 11 sites in Saint Flour, France for a project called Infiltrations.

Michael-Infiltrations1In 2012, for Wilderness Drift in Broceliande, Brittany, France, the animals were plastic, wood and metal.

Michael-DriftFor Siegneurial Chandelier in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, the tools were wood, paint, wire and photo transparencies. There are explosions of color in most of his work, which he has installed all over the world.


Among his best known projects is Flow Line, a 250-metre long installation of willow and paint in Auvergne, France.



Michael-Flow-Line-1Michael McGillis has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Center for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan, and has done installations in Europe, Asia and across North America.

See more on his website, here.

23 replies »

  1. Oh, I adore this stuff. I want to go paint sticks now and “install” them all over the yard! The only tiny thing that bothers me is when the material isn’t so natural – like the painted plastic bags. It would be nice, like Goldsworthy, if they could just decompose into the environment. I love that line of red sticks in the bottom image. So cool looking.


  2. Incredible. I have an insatiable fondness for extraordinary land art, re: Goldsworthy, and Smithson, of course, and Patrick Dougherty, Richard Long, Chris Drury, and others… I hadn’t heard of Michael McGillis. Stunning work… Great post!!!!


  3. I’ve had a “hard time” in the past appreciating installation art but Michael McGillis has totally won me over. THIS, I understand! Thank you for presenting this on your blog


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