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Artists Robert Smithson

Robert Smithson

American Sculptor and Writer

Robert Smithson Photo
Movements and Styles: Land Art, Post-Minimalism

Born: January 2, 1938 - Passaic, New Jersey

Died: July 20, 1973 - Amarillo, Texas

"I am for an art that takes into account the direct effect of the elements as they exist from day to day apart from representation."

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Synopsis

Although Robert Smithson died at the age of only 35, his short career has inspired more young artists than most among the generation that emerged in the 1960s. A formidable writer and critic as well as an artist, his interests ranged from Catholicism to mineralogy to science fiction. His earliest pieces were paintings and collages, but he soon came to focus on sculpture; he responded to the Minimalism and Conceptualism of the early 1960s and he started to expand his work out of galleries and into the landscape. In 1970, he produced the Earthwork, or Land art, for which he is best known, Spiral Jetty, a remarkable coil of rock composed in the colored waters of the shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. In 1973, he died in an aircraft accident when he was surveying the site for another Earthwork in Texas.

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