Tue 8/4-Sat 9/26
Artist Robert Smithson was part of a ’60s art movement called “land art,” in which artists intervened in the landscape to make alterations using the materials found onsite. Many of them were in far-flung locations and exhibits consisted mostly of photos and drawings. Smithson was responsible for one of the genre’s best-known works, Spiral Jetty (1970), constructed out of mud, basalt rocks and salt crystals on the northeastern shore of Great Salt Lake. It’s now Utah’s official state land artwork. Apparently no other state has such an official designation.
Shortly before the building of Spiral Jetty, which required heavy equipment, he created a lesser-known piece called Partially Buried Woodshed — in Kent, Ohio. For this work, he covered an old shed with dirt until it collapsed. At the time he was artist-in-residence at KSU where he worked with students to create the work of which only a small piece remains.
Now the exhibit Acquiring History: The 50 Year Legacy of Robert Smithson’s Partially Buried Woodshed at Kent State University at the KSU Downtown Gallery will revisit the creation of that piece. It exhibit includes contemporaneous photos, video interviews with faculty, essays on the artwork’s history and the largest extant remnant of the shed. An online and print catalog will be available; the exhibit is free and open to the public. It opens on August 4 and will be on view through September 26.