Scholarly texts

Robert Smithson’s Crystal Lattices: Mapping the Shapes of Time

Amelia Barikin
January, 2020

Rocks and Mirror Square II (1971) is constructed from eight, identically sized mirrors, placed back to back against each other to form a mirrored square shored up with basalt rocks. The granular irregularities of the basalt are juxtaposed against the crisp geometry of the structure as a whole. The mirrors are entirely supported by the rocks. In Robert Smithson’s words, the “pressure of the raw material against the mirrored surface is what provides its stability."

Spiral Jetty

Gary Shapiro
November, 2019

Robert Smithson designed and directed the construction of his iconic work the Spiral Jetty in April 1970. The Jetty is a site-specific work, meant to interact with changing conditions of the surrounding water, land, and atmosphere. While located in a relatively barren, unpopulated place, Smithson chose the site not only because of the vast surrounding landscape, but with reference to nearby abandoned oil rigs and the Golden Spike monument marking the 1869 completion of the transcontinental railway.

Doubling Down: Nancy Holt’s Stone Enclosure: Rock Rings

Barbara Miller
June 2019
ISBN: 123-123-1243-124

Circles everywhere! Upon entering Nancy Holt’s 2018 solo exhibition at Dia Art Foundation in Chelsea, New York City the observer is engulfed by a network of flat circular line drawings, round cast shadows, and orbicular light pools. Circles also appear dimensionally: as dark voids cut into walls and as mirrored surfaces shaped into orbs. Very tangibly Holt’s circles telescope out, forming lens-less viewfinders. As one stoops to look through cast-iron spyholes, for example in Dual Locators (1972), a tunneling effect occurs: circles become layered onto circles.