Robert Smithson, Volume 3

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University of California Press, 2004 - Art - 280 pages
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This fully illustrated 248-page book accompanies the first comprehensive American retrospective of Robert Smithson's (1938-1973) complex and highly influential career. Straddling the movements of minimalism and land art, Smithson, who died in a plane crash at the age of 35, had a profound impact on the cultural landscape that resonates to this day. Robert Smithson presents essays by top Smithson scholars alongside both archival imagery and specially commissioned photography of the artist's works; it considers the interrelationship of Smithson's complete artistic output, from the earliest figurative work up to his famed earthworks. Smithson's revolutionary ideas positioned art as existing beyond the walls of the museum in media such as writing and film, and even in the landscape itself. This volume and the exhibition it accompanies explore Smithson's work within the context of the artistic climate of the late 1960s as well as ensuing decades.
Perhaps most renowned as the creator of Spiral Jetty (1970), a fifteen-hundred-foot rock coil dramatically situated in the Great Salt Lake, Smithson also broke new ground with his films, photographs, writing, drawings, and collages. Eugenie Tsai provides a curatorial overview of the exhibition, which includes early writings, drawings, and other work with religious, erotic, and pop culture motifs that deepen our understanding of Smithson's diverse practice. Other contributions to the volume are a previously unpublished interview with Smithson by Moira Roth; a substantive historical and critical essay by Thomas Crow; an essay by MOCA curator Cornelia Butler discussing Smithson's lineage and his influence on contemporary artists; and a series of texts focusing on key works from Smithson's oeuvre, including Incidents of Mirror Travel in the Yucatan by Suzaan Boettger, Enantiomorphic Chambers by Ann Reynolds, Airport Terminal Project by Mark Linder, Spiral Jetty by Jennifer Roberts, Heap of Language by Richard Sieburth, Proposal for Monument at Antartica [sic] by Robert Sobieszek. The book also features the complete Library List--a posthumously compiled list of publications in Smithson's personal library--with an introduction by Alexander Alberro, as well as an exhibition checklist and annotated exhibition chronology. This fully illustrated 248-page book accompanies the first comprehensive American retrospective of Robert Smithson's (1938-1973) complex and highly influential career. Straddling the movements of minimalism and land art, Smithson, who died in a plane crash at the age of 35, had a profound impact on the cultural landscape that resonates to this day. Robert Smithson presents essays by top Smithson scholars alongside both archival imagery and specially commissioned photography of the artist's works; it considers the interrelationship of Smithson's complete artistic output, from the earliest figurative work up to his famed earthworks. Smithson's revolutionary ideas positioned art as existing beyond the walls of the museum in media such as writing and film, and even in the landscape itself. This volume and the exhibition it accompanies explore Smithson's work within the context of the artistic climate of the late 1960s as well as ensuing decades.
Perhaps most renowned as the creator of Spiral Jetty (1970), a fifteen-hundred-foot rock coil dramatically situated in the Great Salt Lake, Smithson also broke new ground with his films, photographs, writing, drawings, and collages. Eugenie Tsai provides a curatorial overview of the exhibition, which includes early writings, drawings, and other work with religious, erotic, and pop culture motifs that deepen our understanding of Smithson's diverse practice. Other contributions to the volume are a previously unpublished interview with Smithson by Moira Roth; a substantive historical and critical essay by Thomas Crow; an essay by MOCA curator Cornelia Butler discussing Smithson's lineage and his influence on contemporary artists; and a series of texts focusing on key works from Smithson's oeuvre, including Incidents of Mirror Travel in the Yucatan by Suzaan Boettger, Enantiomorphic Chambers by Ann Reynolds, Airport Terminal Project by Mark Linder, Spiral Jetty by Jennifer Roberts, Heap of Language by Richard Sieburth, Proposal for Monument at Antartica [sic] by Robert Sobieszek. The book also features the complete Library List--a posthumously compiled list of publications in Smithson's personal library--with an introduction by Alexander Alberro, as well as an exhibition checklist and annotated exhibition chronology.

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Robert Smithson

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Smithson (1938-73) broke new ground during the Sixties by utilizing materials like concrete, mirrors, and asphalt. Combining striking imagery of his work with critical essays, this retrospective fully captures his still innovative ideas. Read full review

Robert Smithson: learning from New Jersey and elsewhere

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Basing her study of leading Sixties artist Robert Smithson (1938-73) on a collection of his personal papers and his library, which were donated in 1987 to the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of ... Read full review

Contents

Directors Foreword
7
Prophetic Turns in the Life and Art of Robert Smithson
33
so An Interview with Robert Smithson 1973
81
Salt and Spiral Jetty
97
i36 Enantiomorphic Models
137
Robert Smithsons Proposal for a Monument at Anartica
143
Robert Smithsons Architectural Criticism
189
Mirroring Presence and Absence
201
Robert Smithson and American Hieroglyphics
219
Smithsons Legacy and PostStudio
225
The Catalogue of Robert Smithsons Library
245
Checklist of the Exhibition
265
Selected Exhibition Chronology and Bibliography
272
Copyright

About the author (2004)

Eugenie Tsai is a critic and independent curator. Formerly Senior Curator and Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs at the Whitney Museum of American Art, she organized exhibitions and artists' projects for the museum and its branches and oversaw the permanent collection. She is the author of Robert Smithson Unearthed (1991).

Robert Smithson (1938-1973), one of the most important artists of his generation, produced sculpture, earthworks, drawings, and paintings in addition to the writings collected here. Jack Flam is Distinguished Professor of Art History at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His "Matisse on Art: Revised Edition" (1995) is also available from California.

Alexander Alberro is Virginia Bloedel Wright '51 Associate Professor of Art History at Barnard College. He is the author of "Conceptual Art and the Politics of Publicity (2000), " and coeditor (with Blake Stimson) of "Conceptual Art: A Critical Anthology" (2000), both published by the MIT Press.