(b Albany, CA, Oct 1, 1935; d Los Angeles, CA, July 25, 2013).
American sculptor. He studied history at the University of California, Berkeley (1953–7), and then art, under David Park (MA, 1959). In 1960 he moved to New York where he associated with other Californians including the sculptor and painter Robert Morris, the dancer Yvonne Rainer (b 1934) and the composer La Monte Young (b 1935). His sculpture of the early 1960s reveals a debt to Dada and other 20th-century avant-garde movements then under revision by young artists. His simple, often cryptically inscribed works owe much of their oblique spirit and deadpan execution to Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades, yet they explore the appeal of pure, usually serialized forms, which become characteristic of Minimalism.
De Maria’s first exhibitions consisted of machine-turned objects in highly finished wood, metals and other industrial materials. At the same time he began to experiment with alternative exhibition spaces such as the desert of the south-western USA. In early projects like ...