Example 88: Modern earthworks

Work Record
Class [controlled]: • environmental art • Modern art
*Work Type [link]: • earthworks (sculpture)
*Title: Spiral Jetty
*Creator Display: Robert Smithson (American, 1938-1973)
*Role [link]: conceptual artist [link]: Smithson, Robert
*Creation Date: April 1970 [controlled]: Earliest: 1970 • Latest: 1970
*Subject [links]: • nonrepresentational art • spiral • entropy • earth • destruction • water
*Current Location [link]: not extant
Creation Location [link]: Great Salt Lake (Utah, United States)
*Measurements: coil: 457.2 m (length) (1500 feet), 4.57 m (width) (15 feet)
[controlled]: • Value: 457.2 Unit: m Type: length |  • Value: 4.57 Unit: m Type: width
*Materials and Techniques: mud, precipitated salt crystals, black basalt and limestone, rocks, water
Material [links]: • mud • basalt • limestone • water • salt
Description: The Spiral Jetty was a counterclockwise coil of mud, salt crystals, and rocks, which were hauled in by truck, but were indigenous elements of the landscape at Great Salt Lake. While clockwise spirals were powerful positive forces, the artist equated this counterclockwise spiral with destruction and entropy, drawing upon symbolism from many cultures.

Required and recommended elements are marked with an asterisk.

CCO News & Events

SEE ALL News & Events


  buy the book from Amazon
or from the publisher, ALA