Walter De Maria Dies at 77

Angelika Platen/Newscom

Walter de Maria with his land art "Sphinx," in Hamburg, Germany in 1968.

Legendary minimalist artist and sculptor Walter De Maria died Thursday of a stroke at the age of 77. The California native’s most famous work, The Lightning Field, consists of 400 steel poles embedded in a grid in the New Mexico desert. While he never gained widespread attention—De Maria detested photos of himself and rarely gave interviews—critics applauded his large-scale works as daring and intelligent. The Dia Art Foundation, a group that he worked with for most of his career, has called him “one of the greatest artists of our time.”