On View

Terminal

Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines

Terminal

Artist: Robert Smithson (American, 1938 - 1973)
Date: 1966
Medium: painted stainless steel
Dimensions:
Overall: 52 1/2 x 62 1/2 x 40 in., 86 lb. (133.4 x 158.8 x 101.6 cm., 39 kg.)
Credit Line: Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Gift of Virginia Dwan, New York, 1985.26
Accession number: 1985.26
Classification: sculpture
Copyright:VAGA
Label TextAlthough Smithson is best known as being one of the forefathers of the Earth art movement, he was friends with many of the major Minimalists, and showed with them early in his career, from which Terminal dates. Terminal employs Minimalism’s sharp geometric forms and industrial medium. However, unlike Judd’s regular repetition of a basic form, or LeWitt’s reconfiguration of shapes according to mathematics, Smithson’s work incorporates progression. Fascinated by the concept of entropy, in which all order tends toward disorder, Smithson’s shapes gradually decrease (or increase) in size, suggesting both infinite growth and reduction.
Exhibition History"Critics Choice" Detroit Institute of Arts, March - June 1967
Published References"Robert Smithson" exhibition catalogue, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2004, ref. pgs. 124 (color image), 267
entirely unexpected