Robert Smithson

(American, 1938–1973)

Robert Smithson was a seminal American artist and writer known for pioneering the Land Art movement. His monumental earthen sculptures such as Spiral Jetty (1970), were inspired by the Minimalist work of his contemporaries, as well as geology, science fiction, and the concept of entropy. “The strata of the Earth is a jumbled museum,” he once mused. “Embedded in the sediment is a text that contains limits and boundaries which evade the rational order, and social structures which confine art.” Born on January 2, 1938 in Passaic, NJ, he briefly studied at the Art Students League in New York, where he began producing collages and paintings in the style of the Abstract Expressionists David Smith and Jackson Pollock. During the early 1960s, Smithson was introduced to Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Claes Oldenburg, and his future wife Nancy Holt, their combined influence led him to pursue a significantly different art practice. Through the 1960s, Smithson produced works which employed both industrial and organic materials. While continuing his art practice, Smithson also wrote for Artforum and Arts Magazine, often switching between esoteric thoughts and concrete descriptions of art or landscapes. Having completed Spiral Jetty, Smithson embarked on a new earthwork project. Tragically, while surveying the new project site from the sky, his plane crashed, killing Smithson, the pilot, and his photographer, on July 20, 1973 in Amarillo, TX. Today, the artist’s works are held in the Dia:Beacon in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, among others.
Robert Smithson (196 results)
Grey Chalice, 1961

Robert Smithson

Grey Chalice, 1961

Sale Date: September 25, 2019

Auction Closed

Shadows, 1961

Robert Smithson

Shadows, 1961

Sale Date: September 25, 2019

Auction Closed

Double Nonsite, California and Nevada, 1968–1969

Robert Smithson

Double Nonsite, California and Nevada, 1968–1969

Sale Date: May 15, 2019

Auction Closed

RING OF SULFUR ON FLAT PLAIN, HOUSTON..., 1972

Robert Smithson

RING OF SULFUR ON FLAT PLAIN, HOUSTON..., 1972

Sale Date: March 1, 2019

Auction Closed

Partially Buried Island Hut, 1969

Robert Smithson

Partially Buried Island Hut, 1969

Sale Date: February 26, 2019

Auction Closed

Kaiser Steel - Wall Japan, 1969

Robert Smithson

Kaiser Steel - Wall Japan, 1969

Sale Date: February 26, 2019

Auction Closed

Torn Photograph from the Second Stop..., 1970

Robert Smithson

Torn Photograph from the Second Stop..., 1970

Sale Date: November 10, 2018

Auction Closed

Spiral Jetty, 1970

Robert Smithson

Spiral Jetty, 1970

Sale Date: November 14, 2018

Auction Closed

BROKEN CIRCLE/SPIRAL HILL, 1971

Robert Smithson

BROKEN CIRCLE/SPIRAL HILL, 1971

Sale Date: March 2, 2018

Auction Closed

PROJECT FOR AN OPEN PIT WITH LAKE, 1972

Robert Smithson

PROJECT FOR AN OPEN PIT WITH LAKE, 1972

Sale Date: March 2, 2018

Auction Closed

Heap, 1961

Robert Smithson

Heap, 1961

Sale Date: December 14, 2017

Auction Closed

Cyclops, 1961

Robert Smithson

Cyclops, 1961

Sale Date: December 14, 2017

Auction Closed

521, 1962

Robert Smithson

521, 1962

Sale Date: December 14, 2017

Auction Closed

My House is a Decayed House, 1962

Robert Smithson

My House is a Decayed House, 1962

Sale Date: December 14, 2017

Auction Closed

The Angel and the Ant Lion

Robert Smithson

The Angel and the Ant Lion

Sale Date: November 16, 2017

Auction Closed

ISLAND OF COAL, 1969

Robert Smithson

ISLAND OF COAL, 1969

Sale Date: September 27, 2017

Auction Closed

POINTLESS VANISHING POINT, 1968

Robert Smithson

POINTLESS VANISHING POINT, 1968

Sale Date: December 6, 2016

Auction Closed

Untitled, 1961

Robert Smithson

Untitled, 1961

Sale Date: October 27, 2016

Auction Closed

MAP FRAGMENT (MAP TR 16), 1967

Robert Smithson

MAP FRAGMENT (MAP TR 16), 1967

Sale Date: September 27, 2016

Auction Closed

Untitled, 1961

Robert Smithson

Untitled, 1961

Sale Date: June 10, 2016

Auction Closed

Blind Angel, 1961

Robert Smithson

Blind Angel, 1961

Sale Date: May 11, 2016

Auction Closed

Planaria, 1962

Robert Smithson

Planaria, 1962

Sale Date: November 12, 2015

Auction Closed

The Flayed Angels (diptych), 1961

Robert Smithson

The Flayed Angels (diptych), 1961

Sale Date: May 14, 2014

Auction Closed

Mangrove, ring summer land key, 1971

Robert Smithson

Mangrove, ring summer land key, 1971

Sale Date: April 10, 2014

Auction Closed