The Making of Amarillo Ramp documents the construction of Robert Smithson's earthwork Amarillo Ramp. At age thirty-five, while photographing the site of the earthwork in progress, Smithson died in a small airplane accident, along with pilot Gale Ray Rogers and photographer Robert E. Curtin. After Smithson's passing, Nancy Holt, Richard Serra, and Tony Shafrazi completed Amarillo Ramp according to Smithson's specifications.
Constructed to emerge from the base of an artificial lake, Amarillo Ramp now lies in a dried-up basin, its original structure altered by erosion. It is Smithson’s final earthwork; while surveying the site in 1973, Smithson was killed in a plane crash alongside pilot Gale Ray Rogers and photographer Robert E. Curtin. The sculpture was posthumously completed by Nancy Holt and artists Tony Shafrazi and Richard Serra. Overgrown with mesquite, its once-defined edges sloping into the earth, Amarillo Ramp is a solemn illustration of entropy. Continued efforts for its restoration and preservation as a ruin speak to the lasting impact of Smithson’s legacy.