Michael Heizer’s ‘Levitated Mass’ will soon journey to LACMA

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Things are getting ready to roll, quite literally, for LACMA‘s ‘Levitated Mass.’

On Thursday the museum led a hard-hat press tour to Stone Valley Quarry in Riverside to meet the object of its affection: a 340-ton, 21 1/2-foot-high granite boulder. “The monolith,” as LACMA calls it, will form the centerpiece of the outdoor sculpture-in-progress, “Levitated Mass” by artist Michael Heizer on the LACMA campus.


At Thursday’s quarry visit, Rick Albrecht of Emmert International, the firm that is transporting the boulder, explained that it will travel in a custom-built transporter, at night only, and average seven miles a day. The approximately 85-mile journey, normally a 1 1/2-hour drive, will take a circuitous route lasting a week to 10 days. Altogether, 50 to 60 people –- drivers, utility crews and police escorts among them –- will travel with the rock caravan.

The entire project, including the boulder, construction on the sculpture’s site and transport, will cost between $5 million and $10 million, said museum director Michael Govan. It’s largely being funded by private donations and through Hanjin Shipping.

The transporter is currently under construction; it will likely be 200 feet long and almost three freeway lanes wide.

How do you turn something that big on city streets? “You hope for the best; it’s a work in progress,” said Emmert’s Albrecht.

LACMA is expecting the boulder to leave the quarry Oct. 3, give or take a few days. Read the full story here.


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-- Deborah Vankin

Photos, from top: The ‘monolith’ at Stone Granite Quarry with its transporter, which is still under construction.

The boulder, sitting on the transporter base.