1) Untitled (Encyclo); 2) Untitled (Moth); 3) Untitled (Orange hexagonals with green and black tape) by Robert Smithson

These 3 drawings represent an important early period of Smithson’s career that until recently, has been overlooked by scholars and critics.


1-2) black ink on paper; 3) mixed media
1-2) 61 x 45.7 cm; 3) 76.2 x 55.9 cm
Art Fund grant:
£59,067 ( Total: £59,067)
Acquired in:
James Cohan Gallery

1-2) These figurative allegorical drawings are characterised by a linear style reminiscent of Byzantine art. Small neatly delineated nude figures, sometimes winged, have been inserted into the rows of words or phrases. Fluidly drawn they may have been derived from pagan myths. 3) This cartoon-like drawing and collage executed a year later sees Smithson inverting the traditional compositional hierarchy of centrally positioned figures surrounded by a subsidiary frame or margin in that the borders contain small nude figures that draw the viewers' eye away from its day-glo pink minimalist centre. Presented by the Art Fund through Art Fund International.


Estate of Robert Smithson; John Weber Gallery, New York; Estate of Robert Smithson, James Cohan Gallery New York.

Venue details

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art Centre Square, Middlesbrough Cleveland TS1 2AZ 01642 726720 www.visitmima.com/

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