The first biography of Robert Smithson, Inside the Spiral deepens understanding of his art by addressing the potent forces in his life that were shrouded by his success, including his suppressed early history as a painter; his affiliation with Christianity, astrology, and alchemy; and his sexual fluidity. Author Suzaan Boettger uncovers Smithson’s story with great sensitivity to the experiences of loss and existential strife that defined his distinct artistic language. This biographical analysis offers unprecedented insight into the hidden impulses of one of modern art’s most enigmatic figures. Here, Suzaan Boettger is joined in conversation with Greg Lindquist.
Suzaan Boettger is a scholar, arts journalist, and critic based in New York City. She is author of Inside the Spiral: The Passions of Robert Smithson and Earthworks: Art and the Landscape of the Sixties.
Greg Lindquist is an artist, writer, and professor who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
References/artworks of Robert Smithson:
The Flayed Angels
East Coast/West Coast. Artwork by Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson.
Broken Circle/Spiral Hill (Emmen, Netherlands)
-A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey (Robert Smithson, article in Artforum)
-The Writings of Robert Smithson / edited by Nancy Holt; 1979.
-"Living extinction: Robert Smithson’s Dinosaurs," by Suzaan Boettger (Burlington Contemporary)
-Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings / Jack Flam, editor
-Robert Smithson. MOCA catalogue, 2004. Connie Butler, Thomas Crow, Eugenie Tsai
-The Shape of Time / George Kubler.
-”Jackson Pollock/Robert Smithson: The Myth/The Mythologist.” Howard Junker. Arts Magazine, May 1978.
-”The Art Establishment,” Harold Rosenberg. Esquire, January 1, 1965.
Virginia Dwan (gallery owner)
Doug Chrismas (gallery owner)
More about the book: z.umn.edu/InsideTheSpiral
What is University of Minnesota Press?
Authors join peers, scholars, and friends in conversation. Topics include environment, humanities, race, social justice, cultural studies, art, literature and literary criticism, media studies, sociology, anthropology, grief and loss, mental health, and more.