Walter De Maria, celebrated sculptor, dies at 77

Walter de Maria (1979) posing in front of his famous installation The Broken Kilometer

Walter de Maria

US-artist Walter De Maria, has died Thursday at age  77. The cause of death was a stroke, according to his New York studio. He is considered one of the great artists of the 20th Century.

He is known for his greatest works such as The Broken Kilometer, The New York Earth Room and The Lightning Field. The Lightning Field is a land-art piece created in 1977 in New Mexico consisting of 400 polished stainless steel poles arranged in a rectangular array that is 1 kilometer long and 1 mile wide.

"I think he's one of the greatest artists of our time," said LACMA director Michael Govan, who had worked with De Maria for a number of years.

De Maria was born in California, and eventually settled in New York. His work was more widely shown abroad than in the U.S., and he had major exhibitions in Japan and Europe notably in Kassel and Munich.

Walter De Maria's work at the Venice Biennale 2013. photo: Mack McFarland