Mirrors and Shelly Sand

MAKER:
Artist

Robert Smithson ( American, 1938 - 1973 )

DATE:
1969–1970
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General Description

Fifty double-sided mirrors divide a vast rectangular mound of sand, which measures nearly thirty feet long and five feet wide, into defined geometric sections. The contrast between the organic and industrial materials is heightened by the precise grid created by the placement of the mirrors and the soft sand that falls into loose, undefined piles. The mirrors function on two levels: they both reflect the world around them and are self-reflecting, creating the illusion of infinity. Robert Smithson is best known for his earthworks, such as Spiral Jetty in the Utah desert, which owe their origin to the time he spent as a consulting artist flying above what would become the Dallas–Fort Worth international airport. With Mirrors and Shelly Sand, Smithson brings the landscape into the museum, fusing nature and culture in a beguiling manner.