Smithson, Robert

Smithson, Robert,

1938–73, American sculptor, b. Passaic, N.J. After first making modular, serial sculpture, Smithson began to design large-scale earthworks (see land artland art
or earthworks,
art form developed in the late 1960s and early 70s by Robert Smithson, Robert Morris, Michael Heizer, and others, in which the artist employs the elements of nature in situ or rearranges the landscape with earthmoving equipment.
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) in the 1960s. Smithson reshaped the landscape in a way that recalled both the forces of nature and ancient archaeological sites. His major works in this mode include the Spiral Jetty (1970; Great Salt Lake, Utah) and Broken Circle and Spiral Hill (both 1971; in a quarry in Holland). His work is represented in the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Smithson died in an airplane crash while overseeing one of his earthworks.


See Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings (1996, ed. by J. Flam); Robert Smithson (2004), comprehensive retrospective ed. by E. Tsai; studies by R. C. Hobbs (1981 and 1983), E. Tsai (1991), G. Shapiro (1995), A. Reynolds (2003), R. Graziani (2004), and J. L. Roberts (2004).

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Smithson, Robert (Irving)

(1938–73) sculptor, painter; born in Passaic, N.J. He studied at the Art Students League (1953), traveled throughout the United States, worked as an abstract painter, then focused on conceptual sculptures and large earthworks, such as Spiral Jetty (1970). He was killed in a plane accident while working on his last environmental construction, Amarillo Ramp (1973).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Smithson, Robert (1968) A sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects.
Smithson, Robert. "Aerial Art." The Collected Writings.
Smithson, Robert. "A Museum of Language in the Vicinity of Art." The Collected Writings.
Smithson, Robert. "Art through the Camera's Eye." The Collected Writings.
Smithson, Robert. "A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey." The Collected Writings.
And the floodgates opened after the break, Gavin Jones, Jason Smithson, Robert Kalbraier and Darren Fearn scoring tries to make it a rout.
It was one-way traffic in the second half, Gavin Jones, Jason Smithson, Robert Kalbraier and replacement Darren Fearn scoring tries on a miserable afternoon for Birmingham.
They range from sculptures to photographs of Woolford to the punning Stool Sample (Smithson, Robert) and Stool Sample (At Wei Wei), both 2008, wood-and-metal stools out of which sprout a single, signature "forsythia" branch.
Coxhoe Athletic, who have made an impressive start during their first season, have Dean Smithson, Robert Tones and Lee Thistlethwaite all injured for the home game with Harton and Westoe, who will line up recent signings from Boldon CA, Andrew Hunter and Keith McRitchie.
1 Smithson, Robert 'Cultural Confinement' (1972) from Art in Theory, ed Charles Harrison and Paul Wood, Blackwell, Oxford (UK) and Cambridge (USA), 1993, p947.
Sandler has functioned as a reviewer and critic for a long time, and there are well-crafted sections - I would call them articles - that present the views and works of individual artists such as Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Julian Schnabel, David Salle, Eric Fischl, Sherrie Levine, Jeff Koons, and assorted others thrust into the foreground of the art world during the years he covers.
Heightening the anxiety of those who would preserve a global, Conceptual, postmodernist Smithson, Roberts (an Americanist trained at Yale and currently teaching at Harvard) produces a Smithson who "rewrites American history." This is a claim that would hardly need making were it not for the fact that a quiet historiographic transformation has characterized postwar American artists as altogether outside the "American" ghetto, always "contemporary," and assertively global (in a Euro-American, hegemonic sort of way).

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