new-york

Robert Smithson

International With Monument

Robert Smithson (1938–1973) is remembered for and represented by Spiral Jetty, 1970, Amarillo Ramp, 1973, and his concepts for other vast and often ephemeral earthworks, as well as for his non-site-specific gallery installations. So it was a treat to see work that predated the earthworks, that confirmed the great break Smithson made with art tradition and his own training. In these ten mixed-media drawings from 1961–63, Smithson’s facile mind and insatiable curiosity can be seen operating in a more concentrated and wittier mode.

Smithson was obviously interested in natural history, geology, and physics, but he was also fascinated by the media, sp ace travel, film, and stereotypes. These drawings illuminate a time of sifting through and development that led Smithson to the phenomenological and monumental scale of the work done in the eight years before his death, as well as the expressive

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