The Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) is opening a new exhibit created around the work of the creator of the Spiral Jetty. The Spiral Jetty is an earthworks sculpture on the north side of the Great Salt Lake created by Robert Smithson in 1970.
The name of this new exhibit is The Smithson Effect. This exhibit highlights the persuasive presence of artist Robert Smithson. (1938-1973). The exhibit is the most ambitious contemporary art exhibit ever organized by the UMFA. The Smithson Effect brings together, for the first time, a broad spectrum of work by international artists who share a profound debt to Smithson’s art and ideas.
“I’m really excited. We worked on the exhibit for more than two years. This exhibit has never been done before,” Gretchen Dietrich of UMFA said.
Smithson was perhaps the most influential post war artist. Smithson is best known for his pioneering earthworks created during the 1960s and 70s, such as the famous Spiral Jetty.
In addition to earthworks, Smithson also produced sculptures, drawings, collages, paintings, photographs, films and extensive writings.
“Smithson is more important in the art world today than Warhol,” Jill Dawsey, acting Chief Curator of UMFA said. The museum brought together 23 world renowned artists, some collaborating. The exhibit features sculpture, video, photography, installation and sound art. There are aerial photographs of the Spiral Jetty on display in the exhibit.
The exhibit features many other photographs – one of the most popular photographs on display is of Mt. Rushmore, which has been photoshopped to show what the mountain will look like 5,000 years
from now. There is also a complete history of Mt. Rushmore accompanying the photo.
The mediums in the exhibit are based on Smithson’s use of the many different mediums, since artists use all the different mediums today. Throughout the exhibit there are plaques on the wall talking about Smithson.
The exhibition occupies over 4,000 sq. ft. in the museum’s first floor gallery. The exhibit includes work by the following artists: Adam Bateman, Walead Beshty, Mathew Buckingham, Tom Burr,
Center for Land Use Interpretation, Peter Coffin, Tacita Dean, Mark Dion, Sam Durant, Shannon Ebner, Cypren Gaillard, Amy Granat, Drew Heitzler, Ren’ee Green, Simon Leung, Debra Ligorio, Ann Lislegaard, Florian Maier- Aichen, Vik Muniz, Lee Ranaldo, Alexis Rockman, Melanie Smith and Tony Tasset.
The exhibit will be on display from March 10 through July 3, 2011, in the Marcia and John Price Museum Building at the University of Utah.
Admission is free for SLCC students with a OneCard. The museum hours are Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; weekends, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the museum and the exhibit call 801-581-7332 or visit umfa.utah.edu.