This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Robert Smithson & Richard Serra Essay

1028 words - 4 pages

What is ‘Art’? Does the term describe a tangible object, experiential event, process, technique, medium, or creative skill? Does it imply attractive decoration, pleasant arrangement, and sound financial investment - or can art provoke, be unattractive, make people uncomfortable, and be fleeting? Today, Art is subjective, open to interpretation and encompasses the spectrum of the visual, literary, dance, and musical humanities - often overlapping one another. As such, Art and its practice can be all of the above and more. Post World War II, Modernist theories were waning and a general dissatisfaction was building in the United States and other westernized countries that ultimately led up to the cultural and social revolution of the 1960’s. The period also parallels a rise in relative wealth and subsequent mass consumption of commodities, education, and cultural activities within all the socioeconomic classes. Personal expression became acceptable and art practice exploded to include multiple fields of activity that Rosalind Krauss likens to “an extraordinary practice in elasticity”. Interest in ecology, performance, process, alternative materials, a loosening of social mores and experimentation with altered states of reality contributed to the rise of what is now known amply as Postmodernism. Civil rights, the anti-war movement, rise of feminism, and a political movement left of center created egalitarian entrances for many into various fields of study including Art. Nevertheless, similar to the current state of Western Civilization, not everyone appreciates an open multiplicity of voices often differing in viewpoints from safer, more conservative ones. It is in this context that artists Robert Smithson and Richard Serra began their careers in art engaging in site specific sculptural installations that have the ability to both delight and deride viewers.

Scale wise, Smithson’s ‘Earth-Work’ and Serra’s monumental sculptures are reminiscent of antique constructions similar to the Hopewell Indian Burial Mounds and Stonehenge respectively, albeit with distinctively different intentions. Additionally, the size of their work is along the lines of architecture or landscape architecture installations that are too large to be contained within a gallery or indoor setting. In a sense, this removes the notion of preciousness, a quality often attached to art work and one that encourages dialogue when one is confronted with the scale of their expressions. This break within the traditional framework of creating and viewing art which Smithson likens to an “entropy of technique” breeds the notion of “limitlessness” associated with Postmodernism. Whether or not this is a good direction is open for debate.

Today, Smithson’s work - Spiral Jetty which was constructed in 1970 for example - engenders nostalgia and reverence. People continue to make pilgrimages to the hard to reach inhospitable north shores of the Great Salt Lake in Utah to get a glimpse of...

Find Another Essay On Robert Smithson & Richard Serra

Cyber Security Departments Essay

2823 words - 11 pages ." Mashable. Mashable, 4 June 2012. Web. 20 Aug. 2013. . Lam, Lana. "Edward Snowden: US Government Has Been Hacking Hong Kong and China for Years." South China Morning Post. South China Morning Post Publishers, 13 June 2013. Web. 03 Dec. 2013. . Lemos, Robert. "Pentagon Recruiting Drive

Clinical Guidelines on the Prevention of Catheter-related Bloodstream Infections

4563 words - 18 pages expenditures associated with CRBSI episodes due to mechanical ventilation use and lengthened stay in the ICU can significantly impact the individual and unnecessarily tax an already burdened healthcare system (Blot et al., 2005). Elderly patients, a particularly vulnerable population, may be predisposed to higher rates of CRBSI because the break in skin barrier may expose the bloodstream to the environment (Richard, 2001). Trauma sustained from

TITLE: Interpretation of an Architect: Frank Gehry

7854 words - 31 pages the Gehry House, continues to elude the critics."Gehry is often talked of in the context of art. Is he an artist? Are his buildings pieces of art rather than functional architecture? He has certainly made it no secret that he draws much inspiration from many types of art. Richard Serra stated that "one of (Gehry's) greatest achievements is to collect the history of contemporary art and with unabashed wit, cunning and playfulness make it his own

Impressionism and the Twentieth Century (Important) I cant remember if I have submitted this essay or not so...I guess You will have to look it up website dudes!!!

7717 words - 31 pages precursors such as Richard Strauss, Kurt Weill and Leonard Bernstein).Glass is a prolific composer: he has written ensemble works, operas, 8 symphonies, 8 concertos, film scores, and solo works. Glass counts many visual artists, writers, musicians, and directors among his friends, including Richard Serra, Chuck Close, Doris Lessing, Allen Ginsberg, Errol Morris, Robert Wilson, JoAnne Akalaitis, John Moran, actors Bill Treacher and Peter Dean, Godfrey

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Psychological Egoism Theory

2240 words - 9 pages The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and

How Celtic Folkore has Influenced My Family

1587 words - 6 pages of us into the people that we are today. These pieces of Celtic folklore have shown me parts of my family that I never knew existed, and they are links to my past, present and future. Works Cited Browne, Ray B., William John Roscelli, and Richard J. Loftus. The Celtic Cross; Studies in Irish Culture and Literature. Freeport, NY: for Libraries, 1970. Print Desmond, Colm. Personal Interview. 3 November 2011. O'Brien, Máire, and

Julia Margaret Cameron

1406 words - 6 pages At a time when women were looked upon as being homemakers, wives, mothers and such the late 1850's presented a change in pace for one woman in specific. Photography was discovered in 1826 and soon after the phenomenon of photography was being experimented with and in turn brought new and different ways of photo taking not only as documenting real time, but also conceptualizing a scene in which an image would be taken. Julia Margaret Cameron will

Similar Essays

Robert Smithson Essay

1008 words - 4 pages were meant to be temporary pieces but were so popular that they were preserved.1 Smithson’s other earthworks are mostly viewed in photos. It was while he was taking pictures of a site for Amarillo Ramp in Texas, that the plane he was in crashed.3 It was July 20, 1973, Smithson was 35 years old when he died in that crash. His wife Nancy Holt and friends Richard Serra and Tony Shafrazi completed the work on the Amarillo Ramp that Smithson had been

Land Art Essay

646 words - 3 pages to the heightened political activism of the time and the emerging environmental and women's liberation movements.Although resistant to being seen as part of any distinct movement, the first major Land Art artists--Michael Heizer, Robert Smithson, Robert Morris--all seem to have been dramatically influenced by these socio-cultural currents of the time. They all agreed that sculptural art could have a life away from the institution, out in the

Life And Death Essay

1280 words - 5 pages of fortune” (1583). In addition, Isaiah Smithson’s definition of structuralist criticism supports Robert DiYanni’s statement. He defines it as “A method of analyzing phenomena, as in anthropology, linguistic, psychology, or literature, chiefly characterized by contrasting the elemental structures of the phenomena in a system of binary oppositions” (Smithson 145). Also, one can use Richard Webster’s definition to analyze the story of “Hills Like

Various Emerging Literary Genres During The 1900's

1302 words - 6 pages James (1843-1916) was a psychological realist rather than a photographic realist who was of the view that the duty of the artist is to represent life, not to produce it. His best works include The American, Roderick Hudson, The Portrait of a Lady, The Tragic Muse, The Spoils of Poynton, The Wings of the Dove, The Ambassadors and The Golden Bowl. Robert Shulman says that “the first-generation realists and their successors did justice to the