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Robert Smithson's Quotes

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Born: 1938-01-02
Profession: Artist
Nation: American
Biography of Robert Smithson

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Painting, sculpture and architecture are finished, but the art habit continues.

Tags: Architecture, Art, Painting

Parks are idealizations of nature, but nature in fact is not a condition of the ideal.

Tags: Fact, Ideal, Nature

Questions about form seem as hopelessly inadequate as questions about content.

Tags: Content, Questions, Seem

The museum spreads its surfaces everywhere, and becomes an untitled collection of generalizations that mobilize the eye.

Tags: Everywhere, Eye, Museum

The museums and parks are graveyards above the ground- congealed memories of the past that act as a pretext for reality.

Tags: Act, Past, Reality

Visiting a museum is a matter of going from void to void.

Tags: Matter, Museum, Void

Words for mental processes are all derived from physical things.

Tags: Mental, Physical, Words

Some artists imagine they've got a hold on this apparatus, which in fact has got a hold of them. As a result, they end up supporting a cultural prison that is out of their control.

Tags: Control, End, Fact

When a finished work of 20th century sculpture is placed in an 18th century garden, it is absorbed by the ideal representation of the past, thus reinforcing political and social values that are no longer with us.

Tags: Gardening, Past, Work

Artists themselves are not confined, but their output is.

Tags: Art, Artists, Themselves

Abstraction is everybody's zero but nobody's nought.

Tags: Everybody, Nobody, Zero

Instead of causing us to remember the past like the old monuments, the new monuments seem to cause us to forget the future.

Tags: Forget, Future, Past

The scenic ideals that surround even our national parks are carriers of a nostalgia for heavenly bliss and eternal calmness.

Tags: Bliss, Calmness, National

A vacant white room with lights is still a submission to the neutral. Works of art seen in such spaces seem to be going through a kind of esthetic convalescence.

Tags: Art, Seem, Seen

A work of art when placed in a gallery loses its charge, and becomes a portable object or surface disengaged from the outside world.

Tags: Art, Outside, Work

An emotion is suggested and demolished in one glance by certain words.

Tags: Emotion, Glance, Words

Art history is less explosive than the rest of history, so it sinks faster into the pulverized regions of time.

Tags: Art, History, Time

Art's development should be dialectical and not metaphysical.

Tags: Art

Artists are expected to fit into fraudulent categories.

Tags: Artists, Fit, Fraudulent

Banal words function as a feeble phenomena that fall into their own mental bogs of meaning.

Tags: Fall, Meaning, Words

Cultural confinement takes place when a curator imposes his own limits on an art exhibition, rather than asking an artist to set his limits.

Tags: Art, Place, Rather

From the top of the quarry cliffs, one could see the New Jersey suburbs bordered by the New York City skyline.

Tags: City, Top, York

History is a facsimile of events held together by finally biographical information.

Tags: Events, History, Together

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Much more quotes by Robert Smithson below the page.

History is representational, while time is abstract; both of these artifices may be found in museums, where they span everybody's own vacancy.

Tags: History, May, Time

I am for an art that takes into account the direct effect of the elements as they exist from day to day apart from representation.

Tags: Art, Exist, Takes

Language operates between literal and metaphorical signification.

Tags: Between, Language, Literal

Language should be an ever developing procedure and not an isolated occurrence.

Tags: Developing, Isolated, Language

Language should find itself in the physical world, and not end up locked in an idea in somebody's head.

Tags: End, Idea, Language

Language thus becomes monumental because of the mutations of advertising.

Tags: Becomes, Language, Mutations

Mistakes and dead-ends often mean more to these artists than any proven problem.

Tags: Mean, Mistakes, Problem

Museums are tombs, and it looks like everything is turning into a museum.

Tags: Looks, Museum, Turning

Nature does not proceed in a straight line, it is rather a sprawling development.

Tags: Line, Nature, Rather

Nature is never finished.

Tags: Finished, Nature

Objects in a park suggest static repose rather than any ongoing dialectic. Parks are finished landscapes for finished art .

Tags: Art, Finished, Rather