The Art & Architecture of Las Vegas Nevada


Over the years I have always been impressed by the many fine examples of architecture, art and sculpture scattered throughout the city of Las Vegas, however, it was not until I visited the CityCenter, a $9.2 billion dollar, 16,797,000-square-foot mixed-use, urban complex on 76 acres located on the Las Vegas Strip that I got the idea to create a book that would showcase these Las Vegas treasures. Completed in 2009, the CityCenter complex houses Aria, a 4,004 Resort & Casino; Crystals, a 500,000 sq ft retail and entertainment district; Mandarin Oriental, 392 room hotel; Vdara, a 1,495 room hotel-condo tower; Veer Towers, a 37-story condominium towers; and Cosmopolitan. While its architecture can be considered a work of art on its own, more on that later, there are dozens of art pieces located inside and around its stunning exterior. Unlike any place else in Vegas, or the world for that matter, CityCenter contains a $40 million modern art collection, which instantly put CityCenter on the map as one of the world’s largest public installations of corporate-owned art. There are fifteen giant works of art and about 10 smaller, lesser works are scattered throughout CityCenter’s 67 acres, making the viewing experience, without the benefit of signs, something like wandering through a private, eclectic estate.

A roster of internationally renowned fine artists from the 20th and 21st century were selected to exhibit their works. Some are existing pieces, carefully chosen for their artistic value and cultural significance; others are site-specific installations for which the artist was invited to command their artistic vision over the space. These paintings, sculptures and large-scale installations, collectively called the CityCenter Fine Art Collection, are the first major permanent art collection in Las Vegas to be included in a public space. It includes works by more than a dozen acclaimed artists and sculptors including Maya Lin, Jenny Holzer, Nancy Rubins, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Frank Stella, Henry Moore and Richard Long, among others.

Coupled with dozens of other fine works of art spread about the city, these works of art have transformed CityCenter into a living, breathing museum and made Las Vegas a true cultural destination. But that is only half the story. The city's art works are immersed in some of the most iconic architecture found anywhere in the world. Though many of its themed structures accurately represent architectural landmarks found around the world, many more stand out as unique only to Las Vegas. Because it would be nearly impossible to include everything in a single volume, I have attempted to highlight what I feel are some of the best examples of architecture and art installations that can be found city-wide. From the beginning I struggled with how to organize and present them. In the end I decided to list each work of art and building by creating an alphabetical listing of its creator. The end result takes you on a journey between art and architecture from one end of the city to the other.

Table of Contents

Tim Bavington - "Pipe Dream Fanfare (for the common man)" 2012 - Symphony Park at Smith Center

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Frank Gehry - Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, July 13, 2009

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Maya Lin - “Silver River” 2009, ARIA Hotel & Casino

Richard Long - "Circle of Chance” & "Earth", 2009 Veer Towers (West and East) (Missing Pictures)

Nancy Rubins - "Big Edge", 2009 - Harmon Circle at CityCenter

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Robert Rauschenberg - "Lucky Dream", 1999 - Vdara’s lobby