Essay Illustration Robert Smithson Writings

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Other theoretical writings explore the relationship of a piece of art to its environment, from which he developed his concept of sites and non-sites.

A site was a work located in a specific outdoor location, while a non-site was a work which could be displayed in any suitable space, such as an art gallery.

His ideas on entropy also addressed culture, "the urban sprawl and the infinite number of housing developments of the post war boom have contributed to the architect of entropy".

He called these urban/suburban sprawls "slurbs." Smithson viewed entropy as a form of transformation of society and culture, which is shown in his artwork, for example, the non-site pieces.

The work consisted of an old woodshed that was partially buried on one side by twenty truckloads of earth, piled around and onto the structure until its central roof beam cracked.

Smithson intended the shed to break up slowly under the weight of the earth, and vegetation to grow over the mound; and he wanted the university to take appropriate care of the artwork and the surrounding site until this process had run its course.Small (1/4") closed tear at top right corner of rear jacket panel.Robert Smithson (January 2, 1938 – July 20, 1973) was an American artist known for sculpture and land art who often used drawing and photography in relation to the spatial arts.On 30 April President Nixon, who had been elected on the promise of reducing America’s involvement in the Vietnam war, announced on national television and radio that American troops would attack Viet Cong bases in Cambodia, a country that had been ostensibly neutral throughout the conflict.During a student protest on 4 May at Kent State University, National Guard soldiers fired on unarmed the grounds of Kent State University, Ohio, in January 1970.The American conceptual artist had been invited to the university for a one-week residency and, while there, created this work with the help of students.Planning to redevelop the area and create a new major public entrance near to the woodshed, the university found the work and its unofficial memorialisation of the shooting embarrassing, but others defended the right of Smithson’s increasingly famous work to remain untouched, no matter how unsightly it became.In 1982 the woodshed’s central beam finally broke, and from time to time groundsmen cleared up and took away loose timbers.In September 1968, Smithson published the essay "A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects" in Artforum that promoted the work of the first wave of land art artists, and in 1969 he began producing land art pieces to further explore concepts gained from his readings of William S. In addition to essays his writings included visual-text formats such as the 2D paper work A Heap of Language, which sought to show how writing might become an artwork.In his essay Incidents of Mirror-Travel in the Yucatan Smithson documents a series of temporary sculptures made with mirrors at particular locations around the Yucatan peninsula.


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