Robert Smithson

Post image for How the Space Race Altered Art in the Americas

Space exploration and the science fiction imagination of alien encounters out in the stars reached their peak of optimistic possibility between the 1940s and 1970s, culminating with the first moon landing in 1969.

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Post image for The 1969 Lunar Landing: One Giant Leap for Art

On July 20, 1969, the world watched, and was transfixed, as American astronaut Neil Armstrong — rendered on television as a ghostly black-and-white figure — descended from the Lunar Module onto the surface of the moon.

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Post image for The Mythic Scale of History and Labor at Spiral Jetty

ROZEL POINT, Utah — Beginning with childhood visits to the American Museum of Natural History and continuing with excursions to study rock formations throughout his adult life, Robert Smithson cultivated a lifelong obsession with natural (and human) history that explicitly informed his artwork, including the Spiral Jetty, his most well-known piece.

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Post image for From Calder to Kruger, the New Whitney Museum’s First Show

The inaugural exhibition at the new Whitney Museum is not perfect, but it is pretty damn good.

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Post image for A Painter’s Reflective (and Reflected) Photographic Portraits

PARIS — The use of mirrors in art has been a rich one, used by Pop, Kinetic, Minimal, and Conceptual artists. In this long tradition, the Jeu de Paume currently offers an additional point of reference.

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Post image for A Google Earth Perspective on Land Art

Earlier today @museumnerd tweeted out a link to a view of Michael Heizer’s land work “Double Negative” (1969) in Google Maps. Viewed in satellite, from high above, Heizer’s 1,500-foot-long trenches looks almost incidental, like cuts made with scissors into the skin of the earth.

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Post image for A Summer Pilgrimage to Nevada’s Double Negative

Michael Heizer’s “Double Negative” (1969), located two hours northeast of Las Vegas, is a quintessential piece of the Land Art canon. Yet if you don’t have a clear image of what you’re looking for, you may not find it — this is no “Spiral Jetty.”

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Post image for Making Gestures: Land Art’s Moment in the UK

LONDON — Land art is having a moment in the UK. It was building last year with two shows, in Margate and Birmingham, by perambulatory artist Hamish Fulton. More ‘walking art’ is afoot in Sunderland. April found Nancy Holt on show in Manchester. And in maritime city Southampton, we have not one but two land art exhibitions, one of which will take a three stop tour of the region. The genre has nothing if not geographical spread.

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Post image for What’s Wrong With Technological Art vs. the Maker Faire

“What’s Wrong With Technological Art?” was the vexing question posed by the tony New Museum panel assembled by Megan Heuer featuring Heather Corcoran, the new executive director of Rhizome, and art historians Judith Rodenbeck, and Gloria Sutton. The event indadvertedly dove tailed with the recent September Artforum issue about the frayed divide between the art world and technological art. The bon mot award for the evening came from rehashing the 1967 quote of Philip Leider, editor of Artforum, who once penned the uber snarky statement, “I can’t imagine Artforum ever doing a special issue on electronics or computers in art, but one never knows.”

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Post image for Are the Repo Men Still Coming for Spiral Jetty?

When we last left you in this saga, the Utah Department of Natural Resources had accused Dia Art Foundation of not renewing their lease on Robert Smithson’s iconic work of land art “Spiral Jetty.” As it stood then, the state appeared to be taking a backseat approach to the problem, not immediately putting the land (art) up for auction. But now it seems things have complicated a bit.

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