Smithson used the idea of entropy to explore ideas of decay and renewal, chaos and order, non-sites and earthworks, trying to find equilibrium between these opposites. Earthwork. See our Privacy Policy for more information about cookies. He primarily identified as a painter during this time, and his early exhibited artworks had a wide range of influences, including science fiction, Catholic art and Pop art. ©2020 Artnet Worldwide Corporation. Born: January 2, 1938; Passaic, New Jersey, United States ; Died: July 20, 1973; Texas, United States ; Nationality: American; Art Movement: Environmental Art (Land art) Genre: installation; Field: painting, sculpture, installation, collage; Influenced by: Joseph Beuys; Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Smithson Smithson (1938-73) came of age in the 1960s when a flurry of knotty movements, ideas and adherences were gaining purchase – minimalism, land art, psychogeography, site-specific art, video art and more. Ballard, and George Kubler. Torn Photograph from the 2nd Stop (Rubble)..., 1970, Double Nonsite, California and Nevada, 1968–1969, RING OF SULFUR ON FLAT PLAIN, HOUSTON..., 1972, Torn Photograph from the Second Stop..., 1970. artnet and our partners use cookies to provide features on our sites and applications to improve your online experience, including for analysis of site usage, traffic measurement, and for advertising and content management. Robert Smithson Ruin of Map of Hipparchus (100 B.C.) Biography. Artworks See all 8 artworks › Chalk-Mirror Displacement, 1969 Robert Smithson; Study for Earthwork Proposal, 1969 Robert Smithson; Study for the Sculpture Glass Strata with Mulch and Soil, 1969 Robert Smithson; Discontinuous Aggregates, 1966 Robert Smithson; Trailer Partially Covered with Asphalt, 1970 In 1973, he died in an aircraft accident when he was surveying the site for another Earthwork in Texas. His ideas on entropy also branched out into culture, “the urban sprawl and the infinite number of housing developments of the post war boom have contributed to the architect of entropy”. Get the latest news on the events, trends, and people that shape the global art market with our daily newsletter. Partially Buried Woodshed. Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1970 (Great Salt Lake, Utah) A Monument to Paradox and Transience A loud abrasive buzzing bellows from the nightstand and I raise my head, only to be blinded by the red light emanating from the small—in size, not volume—machine against a backdrop of pure blackness. Smithson was born in Passaic, New Jersey and early on lived mostly in Rutherford. Robert Smithson was a seminal American artist and writer known for pioneering the Land Art movement. Smithson preferred to work with ruined or exhausted sites Broken Circle/Spiral Hill. The work has since been demolished, and only concrete remains in the grass. Robert Smithson in Texas is the first examination of five projects Smithson proposed throughout the state of Texas. A pivotal figure in the evolution of post-war sculpture, Robert Smithson created iconic Land art that radically changed prevailing ideas about the making and viewing of art. By continuing to use our sites and applications, you agree to our use of cookies. The Jetty is a site-specific work, meant to interact with changing conditions of the surrounding water, land, and atmosphere. Robert Smithson (American, 1938–1973) was a painter and sculptor best known for his mature Land Art pieces, such as Spiral Jetty (1970). A pivotal figure in the evolution of post-war sculpture, Robert Smithson created iconic Land art that radically changed prevailing ideas about the making and viewing of art. In June 1971, the American artist Robert Smithson (1938–1973) completed the land art project Broken Circle/Spiral Hill in a sand quarry in Emmen. Smithson created many inspirational pieces, which have lasted throughout the years, not only through land art but also with drawings, sculptures, films and writings. Smithson grew up in New Jersey, and moved to New York in the 1950s to study at the Art Students’ League and the Brooklyn Museum School. Working with unconventional materials including soil, rocks, disused industrial sites, and language, the artist explored the metaphorical qualities inherent in geological formations and the process of entropy. This resulted in the series of 'non-sites' in which earth and rocks collected from a specific area are installed in the gallery as sculptures, often combined with mirrors or glass. He primarily identified himself as a painter during this time, but after a three-year rest from the art world, Smithson emerged in 1964 as a proponent of the emerging minimalist movement. 4:00 A.M. Oy. Earthwork. His new work abandoned the preoccupation with the body that had been common in his earlier work. Crystalline structures and the concept of entropy became of particular interest to him, and informed a number of sculptures completed during this period, including Alogon 2. All rights reserved. Robert Smithson. Emmen, The Netherlands. Paintings from 1959 to 1962 explored "mythical religious archetypes" and were also based on Dante's Divine Comedysuch as the paint… The painter, sculptor, theorist, filmmaker, and photographer Robert Smithson helped pioneer the Earthwork Movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, which took as its subject the artistic reordering of the American landscape in its many varied forms. It was created at Kent State University in January 1970. Robert Smithson designed and directed the construction of his iconic work the Spiral Jetty in April 1970. in Oswego Lake Quadrangle (1954-55) (1967) Robert Smithson Mirror with Rock Salt (Salt Mine and Museum Proposal) 1968 Robert Smithson Fossil Quarry Mirror (Outdoor and Indoor Proposal) 1968 Robert Smithson Corner Mirror with Coral 1969 1971. Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1970, Rozel Point, Great Salt Lake, Utah, 1500 (if unwound) x 15 foot spiral of basalt, sand, and soil, ©Holt-Smithson Foundation Speakers: Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris His early exhibited artworks were collage works influenced by "homoerotic drawings and clippings from beefcake magazines", science fiction, and early Pop Art. For over fifty years Robert Smithson's work and ideas have influenced artists and thinkers, building the ground from which contemporary art has grown. Partially Buried Woodshed is a work of land art created by Robert Smithson. Robert Smithson, an American artist and writer active in the 1960s and early ’70s, is perhaps best known for his so-called “earthworks.” Smithson died tragically in a plane crash in 1973 at the age of thirty-five while surveying the west Texas landscape as the site for a new earthwork, Amarillo Ramp. He produced drawings and collage works that incorporated images from natural history, science fiction films, classical art, religious iconography, and pornography including "homoerotic clippings from beefcake magazines". His monumental earthen sculptures such as Spiral Jetty (1970), were inspired by the Minimalist work of his contemporaries, as well as geology, science fiction, and the concept of entropy. He eventually joined the Dwan Gallery, whose owner Virginia Dwan was an enthusiastic supporter of his work. His large-scale sculptures, called Earthworks, engaged directly with nature and were created by moving and constructing with vast amounts of soil and rocks. 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