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

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.

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Centre Square, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, TS1 2AZ
01642 931232

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Exhibitions at mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

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