Robert Smithson
Graphite, crayon on paper
30 x 21 in. (76.2 x 53.3 cm)

Angels, demons, and motorcyclists congregate at a striped center, a repeating pattern of colored rectangles resembling Venetian blinds. It appears as a logical window into an otherwise fantastical scene, the playful, lascivious figures positioned to accommodate its central stance. Throughout his oeuvre, Smithson blends mathematical reason with fantastical ideology, often transforming fiction into fact and vice versa. Here, the neat pattern of stripes appears nonsensical, at odds with the chaotic frivolity of imagined phenomena. Smithson’s early drawings are humorous and irreverent, with hints of the ideological complexity that would fuel his later work.

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