History of Our World

Robert Smithson

Posted in Art, Landscape, Object by B on October 18, 2010

Aerial view of Spiral Jetty (1970), Great Salt Lake, Utah, August 2003. Mud, precipitated salt crystals, rocks and water. Coil: 1500 ft. long and 15 ft. wide. Photographed by David Maisel.

Smithson building Spiral Jetty (1970), Great Salt Lake, Utah, 1 April 1970. Photographed by Gianfranco Gorgoni.

Documentary Drawings for Partially Buried Woodshed, 1970.

Partially Buried Woodshed, 1970.

St. John in the Desert, c. 1961-63.

Untitled (Mica Spread) (1970), Rozel Point, Utah, April 1970. Photographed by Nancy Holt.

1000 Tons of Asphalt, 1969.

Asphalt Rundown, Rome, 1969.

Spiral Jetty (1970), Great Salt lake, Utah, 1970. Mud, precipitated salt crystals, rocks and water. Coil: 1500 ft. long and 15 ft. wide. Photographed by Gianfranco Gorgoni

Smithson at the site of Spiral Jetty (1970), Great Salt Lake, Utah, April 1970. Photographed by Gianfranco Gorgoni.


Robert Smithson is perhaps best known as a pioneer of the Earthworks movement and the creator of the iconic Spiral Jetty (1970). However, his involvement in the development of Earthworks is only one of his many contributions to postwar American art. One of the most important concepts Smithson was that of the “site,” a place in the world where art is inseparable from its context. His sites included remote locations like Rozel Point, on the north shore of the Great Salt Lake; the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico; the art museum and the white cube of the gallery; and the pages of art magazines like Artforum, where he published some of his essays. By encompassing both conventional exhibition venues and far-flung locations within his practice, Smithson performed a kind of institutional critique, pointing to the geographical and cultural limitations that the purportedly neutral spaces of museums impose on art.

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Robert Smithson

Eugene Tsai : Cornelia Butler

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

2005

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Robert Smithson

Robert Smithson on UbuWeb

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

B

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One Response

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  1. Miriam Sagan said, on February 10, 2011 at 20:02

    Thank you–I truly enjoyed this.


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