Robert Smithson Essay

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In the 1960s and 1970s Land Art was established in the United States using inspiration from the minimalistic style that was very popular in the 1960s. Land Art, also called Earthworks, is an interaction and study of the natural elements and manmade art.3 One of the most well known and originators of Earthworks is Robert Smithson. Smithson created many inspirational pieces, which have lasted throughout the years, not only through land art but also with drawings, sculptures, films and writings. Robert Smithson was born on January 2, 1938 in Passaic, New Jersey. He grew up there and went to a public school. As a child he was very interested in nature; he collected fossils and reptiles and took mean trips to the New York Museum of Natural…show more content…
The crystalline shape represents not only how we view everything but also the illusions in nature. 1 Smithson did several more pieces involving mirrors and glass that incorporated natural materials like shells and soil. Smithson became very interested in entropy, the measure of energy and the disorder of an object or even in nature. He based many pieces both writings and sculptures on the ideas that are associated with entropy. One of the main focuses was on the decay of natural life.3 In the late 1960s Smithson started to create his earthworks. He started by making them as ‘landmarkers’ like a map using mostly natural materials. He started making his most commonly known piece, the Spiral Jetty, in 1970 off of Utah’s Great Salt Lake.1 It was the start to his large scale earthwork. He was inspired by an Indian monument he saw in Ohio, the Great Serpent Mound. This was a turning point for him; he was able to finally achieve his goal of putting work in the land and not just on it.3 Smithson drew many pictures and took a lot of time planning his work out on paper before he started to construct the real one. He took many photos during the process of making this piece and displayed the pictures together as a collage with both pictures and maps.3 The Spiral Jetty is still there today. After he

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