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PRINT February 1971

Sorting out the Whitney Annual

LIKE ANY PROPER SURVEY the Whitney Annual is intended to be inclusive, even at the expense of being conclusive: it shows us that in the present day there are any number of ways to make sculpture and it is up to us to decide which are most rewarding. Any advice it offers, it is the responsibility of the works of art to generate. It is a good show from the curatorial point of view; it is a bad show, from the artistic point of view, if we are looking for news. Are we?

Three works in the Annual are not physically in the exhibition—Richard Serra’s To Encircle Base Plate, which can be found at Webster Avenue and 184th Street in the Bronx; Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, at the Great Salt Lake, Utah; and Keith Sonnier’s Untitled, which reposes on the roof of No. 105 Mulberry Street, Manhattan.

The absence of Serra’s piece is explained by its deliberate relation to its site. It is a piece of urban

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