description of Nonsite (Essen Soil and Mirrors) by Robert Smithson

The base of this sculpture is a six foot square mirror lying flat on the floor. Standing upright on top of it are four three foot square double-sided mirrors which form a cross, dividing the base into equal quadrants. Inside the resulting spaces are piles of dry terra-cotta soil, heaped up toward the apex of the mirrored walls. Although each section only houses one quarter of a mound of soil, the mound looks complete from every angle, due to the reflections in the mirrored walls. The sandy red soil is full of red stones, and resembles crushed bricks. None of the mirrored panels have frames or visible supports; they appear to be supported solely by the mounds of soil.

Robert Smithson, Nonsite (Essen Soil and Mirrors), 1969
Robert Smithson, Nonsite (Essen Soil and Mirrors), 1969; soil and twelve mirrors, 36 in. x 72 in. x 72 in. (91.44 cm x 182.88 cm x 182.88 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Purchase through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis and the Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Collectors' Forum, Doris and Donald Fisher, Patricia and Raoul Kennedy, Elaine McKeon, Helen and Charles Schwab, Norah and Norman Stone, and Robin Wright; © Estate of Robert Smithson / Licensed by VAGA, New York
Robert Smithson, Nonsite (Essen Soil and Mirrors), 1969

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Nonsite (Essen Soil and Mirrors)
Artist name
Robert Smithson
Date created
1969
Classification
sculpture
Medium
soil and twelve mirrors
Dimensions
36 in. x 72 in. x 72 in. (91.44 cm x 182.88 cm x 182.88 cm)
Date acquired
2000
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Purchase through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis and the Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Collectors' Forum, Doris and Donald Fisher, Patricia and Raoul Kennedy, Elaine McKeon, Helen and Charles Schwab, Norah and Norman Stone, and Robin Wright
Copyright
© Estate of Robert Smithson / Licensed by VAGA, New York
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/2000.572.A-P
Artwork status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900 (2018)

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