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Study for Actual Size (Munich Depression)

A work made of gelatin silver prints (10) mounted with electrical tape on board.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver prints (10) mounted with electrical tape on board.




Michael Heizer
American, born 1944

About this artwork

In 1969, at the invitation of Munich gallery owner Heiner Friedrich, sculptor Michael Heizer drove a backhoe to dig a pit more than 30 meters in diameter: geometry writ large on the landscape. As an extension of the work, called Munich Depression, Heizer took 360-degree photographs of the 7,000-square-foot pit and used them to prepare a gigantic slide piece, called Actual Size—a 1:1 virtual recreation of Munich Depression that brought his outdoor intervention into an exhibition space. “I think certain photographs offer a precise way of seeing works,” he said as he was preparing this photo work. “You can take a photograph into a clean white room, with no sound, no noise. You can … possibly experience to a greater depth whatever view you have been presented with.”


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Michael Heizer


Study for Actual Size (Munich Depression)


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1969


Gelatin silver prints (10) mounted with electrical tape on board


Overall image, approx: 14 × 204.5 cm (5 9/16 × 80 9/16 in.); Overall paper, approx: 24 × 204.5 cm (9 1/2 × 80 9/16 in.); Frame: 49.8 × 225.4 × 2.5 cm (19 5/8 × 88 3/4 × 1 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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