The Spiral Jetty Encylo: Exploring Robert Smithson’s Earthwork through Time and Place
By Hikmet Sidney Loe. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2017. Copublished with the Tanner Trust Fund, J. Willard Marriott Library.
(from the press’ website): Robert Smithson’s earthwork, Spiral Jetty (1970), an icon of the Land Art movement of the 1960s and 1970s, is located on the northern shores of Utah’s Great Salt Lake. Smithson built a masterpiece from local materials, one that spirals counterclockwise into the lake and appears or is submerged with fluctuations in the lake’s locally red, saline water.
The Spiral Jetty Encyclo draws on Smithson’s writings for encyclopedic entries that bring to light the context of the earthwork and Smithson’s many points of reference in creating it. Visitors and armchair travelers, too, will discover how much significance Smithson placed on regional considerations, his immersion in natural history, his passion for travel, and his ability to use diverse mediums to create a cohesive and lasting work of art. Containing some 220 images, most of them in color, with some historical black and whites, TheSpiral Jetty Encyclo lets readers explore the construction, connections, and significance of Smithson’s 1,500-foot-long curl into Great Salt Lake, created, in Smithson’s words, of “mud, salt crystals, rocks, water.”